Rusty but pain-free, South Africa's Rabada ready for England challenge

25 Mai, 2019, 18:27 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
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To be fair to the Proteas, they did win the inaugural ICC Knockout Championship (forerunner to the Champions Trophy) in 1998 and their failure to win the World Cup hasn't always been on account of 'choking'.

Squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), JP Duminy, David Miller, Dale Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Imran Tahir, Hashim Amla, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Quinton de Kock (wk), Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Tabraiz Shamsi.

South Africa have previously arrived at Cricket World Cup tournaments among the favourites to lift the trophy and failed dismally, but this time round can fly under the radar with a youthful team largely shorn of the baggage of the past.

With this and various other factors, including the strength of the Bangladesh, India, West Indies, Afghanistan and New Zealand, teams that the team will have to conquer, this South Africa team will be hungry to win the World Cup and put to bed South Africa's status as one of the best cricket playing countries to have not won a World Cup. He is an out-and-out match-winner, and South Africa's most unsafe weapon with bat in hand.

"I had to get rid of that ... and so I made a point of watching that thing (the run out) over and over and over again". "Batters will score runs on good wickets, so the team towards the end will be the team that will have done well with the ball - teams that can take wickets on flat pitches. I have to keep making sure I lead with that".

South Africa will go into this World Cup without the burden of being among the favourites, despite having won all five of the one-day global series they have played in the past year. Ahead of the team's departure to England, captain du Plessis said: "In the previous World Cups, we wanted to do superhuman things". "We've got a couple of guys who have been to World Cups before but we've got a lot of guys, it's their first one and we want to make it special for them".

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"It's a new adventure for us", says Gibson, who coaches South Africa at the World Cup for the first time.

Gibson's previous job as England bowling coach will undoubtedly be an advantage in assessing conditions. South Africa will play England in the curtain raiser at the Ovals on May 30.

The biggest concern, away from the mental state, is the fitness of two key fast bowlers.

"There are some experienced players who have been to World Cups before, but this is really an exciting opportunity for the younger guys".

Amla, du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, and David Miller are all top 50-over batsmen and the 24-year-old Markram, who almost didn't make the squad, could be the wild card.

The South Africa team was recently rocked by injury woes of their two fast bowling aces, Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada, who have the important and expected task of carrying the Proteas' pace arsenal, which includes Lungi Ngidi. I have done well against them too, ' he said.

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