Herschelle Gibbs is one South African cricketer that nobody can accuse of not stepping up to the plate during Cricket World Cup tournaments. Gibbs helped himself to centuries in 1999 and 2003 as well as a few 50s batting in the middle-order in 2007. The flamboyant batsman says the Proteas can go all the way in 2015.
“There’s always talk about who should be in and who should not. I just feel preparations are going so well. They’ve played in Australia and New Zealand in exactly the conditions they’ll face in the World Cup. They can’t be better prepared. I really feel that just like in 99 we probably have our best chance of winning it. It’s gonna take a Hashim Amla, AB De Villiers, Dale steyn or Faf Du Plessis to be the man of the tournament for us to get over the line. I’ve always felt if we win a semi, we’ll go on to win the final,” says Gibbs.
Apart from South Africa, the Capetonian believes the host nations cannot be ruled out either. “I definitely think Australia are going to have more firepower than they’ve had in a long time. They have lots of all-rounders; guys who are equally good with ball and bat. They’ll go in as favourites I would say. New Zealand are a dark horse. I think India’s batting is much stronger than their bowling but maybe Sri Lanka with Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene are a dark horse too. They’re a side that’s been through it all and they’ll want to go out on a high. Pakistan and India don’t do anything for me,” Gibbs says.
Around World Cup time much is often made of South Africa’s inability to overcome pressure moments in knockout moments. Gibbs puts it down to fear of failure. “It’s not something you discuss. The guys have always wanted to excel. 1999 was as good a chance as we had. Maybe in 2003 and 2007 the guys were definitely having that fear of failure. I think the feeling we had that evening before the 07 semi-final compared to how we actually played the game said enough about the mindset. In 99 it wasn’t the case. If you look at that last ball with Allan (Donald) if he had just gone we would have got the single quite easily. But 2003 and 2007 it was definitely a case of fear of failure,” says Gibbs.