Historically, South Africa haven’t been consistent enough in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. They have reached the semi-finals only twice in six editions – 2009 and 2014. While they usually dominate the group phases, they tend to falter in the second or at the knockout stages.
In the inaugural edition, South Africa were the hosts and they won every game before losing to India in the final Super Eight fixture. All they needed was to 126 while chasing 154 to reach the semi-final. However, they fell 10 runs short of that target and fell out of the race for the semis. In 2009, they made it to the semi-finals but lost to Pakistan. In 2010 and 2012, they couldn’t go past the Super Eight stage. It was in 2014 that they once again made it to the semis but lost to India. 2016 was an inconsistent year when they won two and lost as many in the Super 10s.
With the showpiece event back after five years, the South African side has gone through a massive change. A lot of players who were a part of that 2016 T20 World Cup are not around. Players like Faf du Plessis, despite having an incredible 2021 IPL season have even retired from the national side. As cricket-betting.com highlights South African players IPL experience is invaluable to their world cup chances and South Africa will be banking on them to do the heavy-lifting.
Quinton de Kock will be in charge of shouldering the batting responsibility. The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman who opens the batting is a match-winner and he can really get the big scores. He was in fine form in the series against Sri Lanka but he hasn’t really been able to convert his starts in the IPL while playing for Mumbai Indians (MI). He has gone past the score of 15 in each of the five innings he has played in the UAE leg but he has got just one half-century.
Aiden Markram has batted in the middle-order for Punjab Kings and he has fared reasonably well. He has chipped in with 119 runs in five innings and has a strike-rate of 119.81. It is his part-time off-spin that adds a little extra dimension and he has shown he is more than a handy customer. David Miller hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to bat in this IPL and has played only a couple of games so far. But the left-hander showed good signs of form in international cricket in the lead-up to the IPL.
Rassie van der Dussen, Reeza Hendricks, Henrich Klaasen and skipper Temba Bavuma are the other batters in the line-up. They haven’t featured in the IPL and they will be looking to get some form of match practice ahead of the T20 World Cup.
The batting may not really seem to be a threat or to be South Africa’s strength. However, the bowling attack wears a solid look. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje form a potent and a fiery pace duo. The pair has been a critical part of Delhi Capitals’ success in the last few seasons. This year, Nortje has played five games and he has returned with seven scalps at an economy rate of 5.50. Rabada has blown hot and cold a touch this season. In this second half, he has taken five wickets and overall, he has 13 wickets to his name.
Lungi Ngidi is a part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad. He hasn’t played a single game in the UAE leg. But his experience of being around the big players and familiarising with the conditions could be vital. Tabraiz Shamsi was called in as a replacement player and he has been a part of the Rajasthan Royals (RR) setup. The chinaman spinner who is the leading wicket-taker in T20Is in 2021 played just one game and he returned with figures of 0/34 from his four overs.
Keshav Mahraj and Bjorn Fortuin are the other spinners in the squad. Wiaan Mulder and Dwaine Pretorius are the all-rounders and they will be key to the balance of the side. Their cutters and slower variations could be the key on the slow and low UAE pitches.
South Africa’s batting doesn’t really inspire too much confidence but their bowling attack looks pretty solid. They will be banking on that to pull them through. However, the Proteas are placed in a pretty tough group – Group A. England and West Indies are powerhouses in T20 cricket while Australia will be a huge threat as well.
Thus, South Africa’s chances are not too bright and they are one of the underdogs heading into the Super 12s stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. And if they can progress to the semi-finals, it will be a massive effort from Temba Bavuma and co.