World Cup countdown: Can South Africa break the jinx?
With the World Cup just a few days away, all the top teams in world cricket are busy preparing for this big event. Just like any other top side, the South African team is also gearing up for the mega event. A lot is expected from this South African team as they get ready to start their World Cup campaign.
Under the leadership of A.B. de Villiers, the Proteas have done very well in the recent past and they are looking ahead with plenty of hope. In the previous editions of the Cricket World Cup, the South Africans have always looked good before stumbling in the final hurdle.
‘So close, yet so far’ sums up South Africa’s World Cup history
Back in 1992, the Proteas qualified for the semi-finals on their first appearance in World Cup history before the controversial rain rule prevented them from going any further. Playing against England at the SCG, the South Africans were well on course for a place in the World Cup final before the weather Gods prevented them from doing so. According to the revised target, the Proteas needed an impossible 22 runs from just one ball and so their dreams of reaching the final came to an end at this historic venue.
Four years later in 1996, when the World Cup was held in the sub-continent, the Proteas once again came close but their World Cup dreams came to an end as they went down to the West Indies in the Quarter-final at the National Stadium in Karachi.
There was more disappointment in store in the next edition in England when they went down after a thrilling game against the Aussies. Although the semi-final against Australia ended in a tie, it wasn’t enough to take the South Africans through to the final and so their World Cup dreams came to an end once again. Although Lance Klusener tried his best, but the South Africans failed to reach the final once again.
In 2003, four years later, playing at home, the South African team under the captaincy of Shaun Pollock failed to qualify for the knock-out stages of the tournament. It was a miscalculation from the South African skipper which led to the disaster and so South Africa’s dreams of winning the World Cup at home came to an end.
In 2007, although the South Africans tried their best, they lost to Australia once again in the semi-final. The Aussies went on to win the tournament beating Sri Lanka in the final in the West Indies. It was the same old story in 2011 as the Proteas failed to reach the final, surprisingly losing to New Zealand in the quarter-finals despite topping the group stage ahead of winners India.
The Proteas team is stronger than ever this time
This time, though, the South Africans are better prepared and have a much better chance of putting up a good show. They have some great players like de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla. The presence of these players make their batting look stronger than ever before. They also have a strong pace attack which includes Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, which is well-supported by the leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
They are also a formidable fielding unit, comprising of some wonderful fielders like du Plessis and David Miller. So, the Proteas have a very good chance of doing well in the 2015 World Cup. Considering the team that they have they can do wonders in the coming days as the biggest event in the world of cricket gets going in Australia and New Zealand.