South Africa have been tagged chokers from many years. This time around they will try to win this cup to remove this tag forever. We have to wait for this to happen for a while but in mean time SA once again choked against England to reignite discussions of them being chokers.Their performance in the previous editions of the world cups was not up to their potential.
South Africa repeatedly proved that they tend to choke in tricky situations whether it be the semi final of 1992 & 99 or it be the group match against Srilanka in 2003. Sometime it is rain who spoil their party sometime Brian Charles Lara. They were not able to convert good starts. I remember they lost Titan Cup after winning all the matches to India.
Their recent performance against India was also satisfactory. This time they have come prepared with three front line spinners in the team well suited for subcontinent conditions. One of their spinner Imraan Tahir was in talks as he was being referred as the secret weapon of South Africa. They have a very balanced side under the captaincy of Graeme Smith who may be leading them for the last time in ODI's.
They have started well with two easy wins in practice matches followed by two easy wins against WI and Holland. Till 30th over of the match against England it seemed that it is again going to be a easy win for SA. But then comes a word CHOKE in the equation and they ended up loosing marginally short of the target.
They look like the most balanced side in the tournament with some great batsman and great bowlers. They have two good fast bowlers in Steyn and Morkel. Their spin dept.had succeeded in taking wickets as well as in containing runs and looks formidable this time.
Their top 4 batsman have great record in Indian pitches. Hashim Amla ,AB de Villiers and Kallis are in good form from last couple of years. They are not completely dependent on single player to score runs. Duminy looks good in death overs.
By virtue of their bowlers and batsman they can defend and chase any total.
I can only recall single word as their weakness i.e. Choke. They tend to choke in big occasions giving extra advantage to their opponent.
Citing current situation their worry could be the form of their captain Smith. Their tail seems to be a bit long as F du Plessis and MN van wyk haven't shown any promise in either outings.
My Prediction :
South Africa should meet NZ in quarters which should not be difficult for them. They may exit in semis but I want them to play against India on 2nd April. :)
My Suggestions for opposition:
Try to bat first against them. If you play cautiously they wont be able to get you out. Counter attack Tahir, dont let him to make early inroads.
Sri Lanka is next on cards.
Till then ....enjoy