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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

South Africa at the World Cup

South Africa is the current No.1 team in ICC Ranking. But do they deserve it? NO. They have got there because of the Aussies lack of form and injuries. How does their team look?

Graeme Smith is the aggressive opening batsman for SA - having the additional responsiblity to
captain the team as well. He seems to take his batting flair while leading his team also - but it doesnt work most of the time. He has shown weaknesses in his batting, which was capitalized by Zaheer Khan during the ODIs in SA. He expects to bowl few overs of spin during the middle overs alongwith Peterson, which might be good against the teams that dont play spin well.

AB de Villiers comes to mind for his brilliant saves on the field. He is another aggressive opener for SA. It might be good for the team, if AB can tone down his temper so that he can complement Smith at the crease. Mostly, both of them seem to be having a race between themselves on who will be out first!!!

Loots Bosman is the other opener in the pack. Again, good fielder but was found wanting in
technique during the recent series against India.

Jacques Kallis should play the role that Rahul Dravid plays for India. He should ideally look to play out the 50 overs for his team. If not, SA will fold up quite early. His bowling is a major plus. He has regained his speed and can clock speeds of 140 kph easily.

Herschelle Gibbs - Will he fire? Dont think he will. He is very inconsistent with his batting. SA would do good not to trust him with their batting. He can be compared to Shahid Afridi (if he fires, great; but most of the time, he doesnt) Fielding skills are great as usual.

Ashwell Prince is the other anchor in this team (Kallis being the first), who can provide consolidation after the openers are gone. The Man in Form as well.

Justin Kemp is another big-hitter, in the mould of Pietersen. Can bowl a bit also. He must be eager to show his skills at the biggest level.

Mark Boucher - What can one say? His keeping is as solid as ever, while his batting seems to be
getting better and better.

Shaun Pollock has only one opponent in his bowling craft - Glenn Mcgrath. But, he is better than
Mcgrath - because of his contributions with the bat (he hits as straight as ever) and field (his
throwing arm can make quite a few people blush).

Makhaya Ntini is the FAST bowler in the SA team. He must learn to mix the slower balls with his incoming balls, as he wouldnt find the wickets to his liking in the World Cup. A lot depends on his strikes with the new ball.

Andre Nel must shut his mouth, to avoid getting banned. If he is able to do that, he will have a decent World Cup as the third seamer.

Andrew Hall is another of those allrounders that SA seem to get, as in a production line. Is the poor man's Andrew Symonds actually. Can open the batting/bowling, do a role of restrictive bowler.

Charl Langeveldt is a steady bowler for the SA, who can take wickets at the death. Once the
frontline bowlers have done the damage, Charl can come in and close the match for them. But, very unlikely that he will get a chance to play.

Robin Peterson is the only specialist slow bowler for SA. He has to put in a big effort for his team to win this World Cup. But, he will not be a danger for the likes of India, Sri Lanka, Australia since they play spin very well.

Roger Telemachus is the other seamer who is available as injury cover for the frontline. Again, steady bowler who may not get many chances to play.
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