Proteas World Cup chances rapidly slipping away
Only net run rate (NRR) separates South Africa and Afghanistan at the bottom of the standings with 0 wins and 3 losses in the 2019 ICC World Cup. Going by how this World Cup in England & Wales has played out so far, South Africa are more likely than not looking at a fourth-consecutive loss. It’s gobsmacking to say the least, the Proteas are one of the most dominant ODI teams in the world yet find themselves on the cusp of missing out on a top four spot by a country mile.
Where did it all go wrong? Something Faf du Plessis will no-doubt be asking himself and his team for that matter at the moment. The simple answer would be consistency, the batting in particular has been far from South Africa’s lofty-standards and probably more like a World Cup minnow such as Bangladesh or Afghanistan. Dale Steyn being ruled out for the entire World Cup has left them depleted in the fast bowling category, furthermore Lungi Ngidi is unlikely to face the Windies after injuring himself against Bangladesh. That puts immense pressure on both Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir who face the difficult task of bowling to a well-oiled-boundary-hitting-machine that is the West Indies. If it wasn’t for some ‘questionable’ umpiring in their last match, the Windies may have been heading into this match undefeated, but it wasn’t to be. Chris Gayle will look to get on top of the Proteas bowling early, he’s got plenty of power to clear the inner-circle in the first 10 overs.
This new-look Windies approach to cricket is bringing back memories from the 80’s & early 90’s, the bowling has been just about as impressive as their work with the willow as well. Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell and Andre Russell are extracting plenty of pace from these UK wickets, at one point they had Australia 4-38 at Trent Bridge. This is where South Africa is most-vulnerable, they need a good start to the innings from their top order who’ve failed in recent times. The Proteas classy-trio of Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis have been the engine behind this dominant International team for so long, but they’ve lapsed in concentration at the worst possible time. All of a sudden they’ve got some huge selection decisions to make – Are back-to-back 30’s enough to keep David Miller in the side? Does JP Duminy’s experience cancel out his two failures with the bat? Is Aiden Markram worth persisting with? The clock is ticking.
Top 4 fantasy picks – South Africa
- Faf du Plessis
- Imran Tahir
- Kagiso Rabada
- Quinton de Kock
Wildcard pick – Chris Morris
Top 4 fantasy picks – West Indies
- Oshane Thomas
- Chris Gayle
- Andre Russell
- Jason Holder
Wildcard pick – Shimron Hetmyer
Predicted Team XI’s
South Africa (possible) – 1. Hashim Amla 2. Quinton de Kock (wk) 3. Faf du Plessis © 4. Rassie van der Dussen/Aiden Markram 5. David Miller 6. JP Duminy 7. Andile Phehlukwayo 8. Chris Morris 9. Dwaine Pretorius/Tabraiz Shamsi/Lungi Ngidi 10. Kagiso Rabada 11. Imran Tahir.
West Indies (possible) – 1. Chris Gayle 2. Evin Lewis 3. Shai Hope (wk) 4. Nicholas Pooran 5. Shimron Hetmyer 6. Jason Holder © 7. Andre Russell 8. Carlos Brathwaite 9. Ashley Nurse 10. Sheldon Cottrell 11. Oshane Thomas.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.