South Africa will be hoping to make this ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015 one to remember. The men captained by AB De Villiers have had little luck in this tournament having never made a final in their six previous appearances. After political issues led to them being suspended from international cricket in 1970 South Africa were reinstated in 1991 and played their first ever One Day International against India in what was then Calcutta. Since then they have had mixed fortunes in world cricket and hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2003.
The Proteas have been dominant in the Test arena over the last few years taking number one spot in 2012 after a series victory in England and are currently still in pole position. In mid 2012 they became the first team to be ranked number one in all three formats of the game simultaneously. However since then their limited overs performances have not been as dominant with notable series defeats against New Zealand as well as Sri Lanka.
Looking ahead to the next edition of cricket’s top honour they will be looking for that winning formula Down Under. At the last edition hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, then skipper Graeme Smith and company found themselves in Group B alongside two of the host nations in Bangladesh and India along with England, the West Indies, Ireland and the Netherlands. They finished top of the pile at the end of the group stages having lost just one match against old foe England. In the quarter-finals they faced New Zealand and were defeated by 49 runs and subsequently knocked out of the tournament.
Going into the event in Australasia Russell Domingo’s charges have put in some decent performances in the ODI format winning six of their last series including the Zimbabwe Triangular where they defeated Australia in the final. Boasting one of the best sides in the world with gifted batsmen, bowlers as well as one of the best fielding sides in the cricketing world it can be said that they have the formula to go on and win it. Every player is key to the team’s success but there are few notable names that come to mind when talking about the best of South African cricket right now.
Firstly skipper De Villiers, who is currently the number one ranked ODI batsman in the world. He is an experienced campaigner and a formidable batsman who has the ability to take on any attack in the world. In the batting department the Proteas are truly gifted boasting the likes Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis and JP Duminy, not to mention exciting young talent like Quinton De Kock, David Miller and Rilee Rossouw as well.
The South African bowling attack is another strong point of their game with the number one Test bowler Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander along with Imran Tahir as well as the new boys Kyle Abbott and Aaron Phangiso, just to name a few that are able to take wickets and will be key to their side successfully defending totals and restricting opponents. It is said that the protea is the first thing to regenerate after a fire which is evident as the Proteas have shown resilience over the years and they will be aiming to have a successful World Cup and break this habit of faltering in knockout matches.