Lance Klusener was the star of the 1999 Cricket World Cup, picking up the player of the tournament award. Fifteen years on, Klusener is hopeful that South Africa can go all the way and lift its first ever World Cup trophy. “I think there’s certainly talent there to win and I think as with any World Cup, you can have all the talent in the world but you need everyone to have a good tournament. If we can do that we’ll be just fine but if there are big players who go through the tournament without being excellent we’ll be under pressure again just like in 1999. We had an excellent team but at the end of the day we were always under pressure,” says Klusener.
“Zulu” says it is hard look beyond the Proteas and co-hosts Australia in 2015, “You can’t write Australia off in their own conditions. We must be right up there too. Then there’s always a surprise, a dark horse where two or three guys in a certain team end up doing very well. But I’d go South Africa and Australia as my one and two.”
Curiously around World Cup time the Proteas have a nasty habit of wilting under pressure. Klusener believes it is all about the best players doing well in the heat of the moment. “You can have all the talent in the world but you need that talent to fire in that particular month and we haven’t had that. We’ve had great teams on paper but individuals haven’t had great tournaments. So if the bowlers don’t do well it’ll be very tough to win and the same with the batting. We just haven’t done that in the past,” says the current Sunfoil Dolphins coach.
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