Currently ranked on the top of the ICC One Day International rankings, the South African Cricket team is regarded as one of the strongest contenders for this world cup. It has a fare success in both forms of the game and apparently hosted the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup, but unfortunately South Africans didn’t lift the cup though they had reached the 96-quarter final and 99 Semifinal. In this 9 th edition of World Cup, they are included in the Group-A with Australia, Netherlands and Scotland.
If we look at the history, then we can find that South Africa had played its first ever test match against England in the year 1888-89 but ICC suspended the country from International cricket in 1970 due to its Govt. policy of apartheid – a racial discrimination. But again in 1991, ICC lifted its ban and the team played its first ODI match on 10 th Nov of the same year against India. It has produced some of the greatest cricketers of all time including Graeme Pollock, Alan Donald, Hansie Cronje, Jonty Rhodes, Shaun Pollock and Mark Boucher.
The present team looks sound in all departments and is now in the number one slot of ICC rank table after a 3-0 series win over Pakistan. It has two terrific openers like Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers and all-rounder like Boucher, Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock and captain Graeme Smith who can come handy for the team. As far as bowling department is concerned Pollock is leading some young guns like Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel and Charl Langeveldt.
Graeme Smith (captain), Jacques Kallis, Loots Bosman, Mark Boucher (wicketkeeper), AB de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Hall, Justin Kemp, Charl Langeveldt, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince, Roger Telemachus.
Shaun Pollock – The former captain is known for his all-round performance both bowling and batting. From a long time he is heading the pace attack and hope he shines in this World Cup like before.
Jacques Kallis – regarded as a world-class all-rounder, Kallis has to deliver a lot both from his bat and bowl for taking forward South African’s fortune.
Graeme Smith – His cricketing excellence at the junior level makes him to captain the team at a very young age after Pollock’s resignation from the captaincy after 2003 World Cup. His match winning knocks and tactical captaincy make him one of the most important players in the team.
Mark Boucher – This wicket keeper apart from his athletic job behind the stumps is known for his pinch-hitting and also valuable middle order batsman that makes him one of the key players in African squad.
Herschelle Gibbs – An excellent opener who can consistently make the scoreboard run and also can stop/catch the ball with his gymnastic efforts in the ground.
With the above-mentioned players we can expect some competent matches in the Group-A against Australia.