Call it a bad omen or sheer bad luck, South Africa has never been able to cross the finish line when it really mattered. Be it the unfortunate 1992 World Cup semis, or a 1st round exit in the 2003 WC, the Proteas have earned the ‘chokers’ tag in every possible way. Come the 2015 World Cup, they will be itching to grab their maiden WC trophy. While hosts Australia and New Zealand may have the home advantage, this could well be Proteas’ best shot at the biggest title in cricket.
Captain Fantastic – AB de Villiers
It’s hard to get over AB’s record-breaking 149 against West Indies. It’s even harder to believe that this will be his third WC appearance. AB enjoys batting on the big stage and is an inspiration to his teammates. With a 50 plus average in the World Cups, de Villiers now carries his nation’s hopes on his strong and able shoulders. His recent form could well serve as a warning to bowlers: "Beware, AB ahead!"
Impregnable middle order
Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, pinch hitters David Miller
and JP Duminy form one of the most formidable middle orders on paper. Amla, also the vice-captain, has been in tremendous form. This will be his second WC outing, and he will be eager to make it count. Quinton de Kock also looks in good shape and he will be raring to go in his maiden WC. A power-packed middle order is going to be hard work for the bowlers!
Dominant bowling attack
Dale Steyn, one of the most skillful pace bowlers, will spearhead the Proteas bowling line-up. He’s had an impressive 2011 WC, and is capable of doing enough damage. Along with Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, it will be an explosive three-pronged pace attack. Add to it, the bouncy and fast pitches that favor the pacers, all you can say is good luck to all the batsmen out there!
South Africans are known to be good fielders by reputation. Ever since Jonty Rhodes’ famous run-out in the 1992 WC, the Proteas have grown as a powerful fielding unit. With the likes of Miller, Faf and AB flying around, batsmen will have to sweat and toil for every single run. Surprisingly, AB believes they’re not yet up to the mark. Well, what can we say. You don’t mess with the Proteas!
Maybe, just maybe, the cricketing gods will finally grant South Africa their elusive World Cup. A team with such big names and immense talent should ideally be front-runners in any competition. Fingers crossed, we really hope it isn’t a case of… "Not again, South Africa!"