The ‘chokers’ of the World Cup will be looking to improve on their performance in the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. In spite of being among the favourites in every edition since 1996, South Africa have never progressed to the final of cricket’s showpiece event in once, having faltered in the semis on more than one occasion. This is something AB de Villiers-led Proteas outfit would be keen to change. More than his captaincy skills, which haven’t really been put to test till now, it is de Villiers the batsman that South Africa would really want to fire. He is in the form of his life having recently cracked the fastest hundred in ODIs.
de Villiers apart, Hashim Amla would be the other big figure in the batting department. Also the vice-captain of the team, Amla is the team’s most consistent player, and his batting would go a long way in defining how South Africa perform in the World Cup. Other important members in the batting department are Faf du Plessis, who has established himself as a good middle-order player. They have also retained Farhaan Behardien, who has come up with reasonable scores of late. Although not fully fit at the time of World Cup selection, South Africa have retained opener Quinton de Kock, whose wicket-keeping skills are an added asset. JP Duminy too has made the cut although the all-rounder is also suffering from an injury.
The other players who are likely to have an impact in the event for South Africa are Vernon Philander, who will lead the attack along with Steyn. He can also chip in with the bat. Wayne Parnell is another, who has similar credentials. Morne Morkel, when he gets his act right, can also be a major force. In the spin bowling department, Imran Tahir has been given the main responsibility. David Miller is also an important member in the team. He can come in very handy with his big hitting lower down the order. Overall, South Africa have a well-balanced attack.
South Africa kick off their campaign with a match against Zimbabwe at Hamilton on February 15.
Squad: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla (vice captain), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn