ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Team Profile: South Africa Cricket Team
South Africa will play their opening game of ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 against Sri Lanka on October 7.
The mega event in 2023 in India is all set to kick off. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 will begin on October 5, with a total of ten teams competing in the competition. This will see a total of 48 matches, and the final will be played on November 19. The defending champions, England, will face New Zealand in the opening game in Ahmedabad.
There are ten venues in India that have been selected for hosting the World Cup games. South Africa can be considered dark-horses in the competition, and many former cricketers and cricket experts feel that the Proteas have checked all the boxes before entering the tournament. South Africa will face Sri Lanka in their opening game on October 7 in Delhi.
Performance in the last ICC Cricket World Cup:
South Africa didn’t have a great performance in the last edition in 2019. They finished the table in 7th place. This was the first time since 2003, when they hosted the tournament, that South Africa were eliminated from the group stage. Hence, they will be looking to bounce back well and end that infamous “chocker” tag that they have.
South Africa started the last edition with three consecutive defeats, including a loss against Bangladesh. They won their first game in their fifth match against Afghanistan. The other victories for South Africa came against Sri Lanka and Australia in their last group matches, and it was too late for them. In the first eight games of the 2019 World Cup, South Africa had only one win.
South Africa’s squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2023:
The current squad for South Africa looks pretty impressive. They have a number of match-winners on their team that can change the situation of the game from any position. Temba Bavuma has been given the responsibility to lead the team in the mega event.
Quinton de Kock announced earlier that he would retire from ODIs after this tournament and then looks to take his team to victory. Aiden Markam, Rassie van der Dussen, and Reeza Hendricks are some in-form top-order batters that have scored heavy runs in recent times. David Miller has years of experience playing in India in the IPL, which will also help.
Marco Jansen and Andile Phehlukwayo are two pace-bowling all-rounders in the team. And who can forget Heinrich Klaasen, who is in the form of his life? Kagiso Rabada will lead the pace attack that consists of Lizaad Williams, Lungi Ngidi, and Gerald Coetzee. Apart from the quality pace attack, South Africa also have two good spinners in Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj.
South Africa’s squad for World Cup 2023: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Rassie Van der Dussen, Marco Jansen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Gerald Coetzee, Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Lizaad Williams.
South Africa’s strongest playing XI for ICC Cricket World Cup 2023:
South Africa recently played a five-match ODI series against Australia and won it brilliantly. They lost the first two games of the series and then bounced back well to win the next three games to win the series 3-2. The team that played in that series gave an indication of what could be the playing XI that South Africa will opt for in the World Cup 2023.
Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma will be the first-choice openers on the team. Both experienced players will try to give the team as many good starts as possible. Van der Dussen and Markram will bat at No. 3 and 4. These two are dynamic batters and can play well against both spin and pace.
Then, the biggest wicket in South African team Klaasen, who is a true match-winner, will be followed by Miller. Both all-rounders, Jansen and Phehlukwayo, will be next in order, giving the team more depth. Rabada and Ngidi will be the two main pacers, with Shamsi as the primary spinner.
South Africa’s strongest XI: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Rassie van der Duseen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
South Africa’s coaching staff for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023:
Rob Walter took over the role of head coach in January 2023, replacing Malibongwe Maketa, who was the interim coach between 2022 and 2023. Walter is coaching South Africa’s white-ball side (ODIs and T20Is). The World Cup 2023 will be his biggest assignment as the coach of the team. Walter was South Africa’s strength, conditioning, and fielding coach from 2009 to 2013.
He has also worked as an assistant coach for two IPL franchises: the Pune Warriors and the Delhi Daredevils. On the other hand, former South African star JP Duminy has been assigned the role of batting coach for the team. Duminy, who played enough in India during his career, knows about the batting conditions offered here in India. Former South African pacer Rory Kleinveldt is the bowling coach, and Wandile Gwavu is the fielding coach of the team.
- Pace Bowling Attack: South Africa have given many brilliant pacers to the game. And the current team also have some pacers that can single-handedly win the game. Led by Kagiso Rabada, South Africa have one of the best pace bowling attacks in the competition.
- Experience of Playing in India: South African players like Miller, De Kock, Markram, Rabada, Klaasen, Jansen, and a few more are regular faces in the Indian Premier League for different franchises and are aware of the playing conditions in India, which will surely benefit the team.
- Range of Power-hitters: Since the introduction of T20 cricket, the game dynamics in ODI have also changed, and South Africa are really at the top of this. They have some big power-hitters who can change the course of the game single-handedly, which is why South Africa will enter the competition with three consecutive 300-plus totals under their belt.
- Less Experienced Batting Lineup: South African squad looks pretty good, but one thing that they will lack is experience. Only De Kock and Miller have played more than 100 ODIs in their careers, and not many have even played 50 games. That might be one area of concern when it comes to experience.
- In-experienced bowling attack: Rabada and Ngidi are the bowlers that have played in India, while Coetzee, Williams, Phehlukwayo, and even Maharaj don’t have enough experience of bowling much in India, and when the stadium is packed with more than 40,000 spectators, nerve handling becomes more difficult.
- “Chockers Tag“: Well, South Africa enter every big tournament as one of the favorites but have never reached the final of the ODI World Cup and have chocked all the time. That will be the biggest pressure on them to end that “chockers” tag than anything else.
South African players to watch out for in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023:
Overall, South Africa have got the skillset to do well in the tournament, but for that, they need their key players to step up, and here we will talk about the South African players to watch out for.
Quinton de Kock has already confirmed that he will retire from ODIs after the World Cup, which means he has this tournament to achieve something big in his ODI career. And when he knows that he has nothing to lose, De Kock can be a dangerous batter.
Heinrich Klaasen smashed a century for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2023, and recently, he registered the second-highest ODI score by a batter at No. 5 and made 174. He is capable of playing quick and big innings, which will make him a real prospect to watch out for.
Kagiso Rabada has been exceptional throughout his career, and doing well in the World Cup will add another feather to his wings. Rabada is one of the best bowlers in the tournament and can demolish any batting lineup.
South Africa’s fixtures for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023:
South Africa will start their campaign on October 7 with a game against Sri Lanka in Delhi. Their second game will be against Australia on October 12 in Lucknow. South Africa will play Netherlands and England on October 17 and 21 in Dharamsala and Mumbai, respectively. Then, the Proteas will face two Asian teams: Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Those games will be played on October 24 and 27 in Mumbai and Chennai, respectively. New Zealand will lock horns with South Africa in Pune on November 1. South Africa will face host India at the iconic stadium in Kolkata on November 5. The last group match for South Africa will be played against Afghanistan on November 10 in Ahmedabad.
What to expect from South African cricket team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023?
Looking at the squad and the fixtures South Africa have in this World Cup, it looks like they have a great chance to finish in the top four. Many former players and cricket experts have rated them as dark-horses who can beat any team on their day, which they showed against Australia recently.
South Africa have a great chance if they can pull off some big wins. But looking at the whole tournament, the Proteas have a great chance to challenge the other teams in this competition and reach the semi-finals.