Despite their consistent performances, South Africa have never claimed victory in the 50-over World Cup, achieving their highest achievement as four-time semi-finalists.
Their journey in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup will commence with a match against the 1996 champions, Sri Lanka, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on October 7.”South Africa’s strength to me is going to be in our bowling attack,” he said. “We’ve got some quality pace bowlers that can blow away the opposition’s top-order. And I think they are going to play a major role if South Africa are going to get far, if we do get far (in the tournament),” Kallis was quoted as saying by ICC.
Drawing from his experience as a former pace all-rounder, Kallis emphasises that South Africa’s success will hinge on maintaining consistency in their roles leading up to the competition, thereby avoiding last-minute changes.
“The one thing that needs to change for South Africa to be successful in a Cricket World Cup is to carry on playing the cricket that we’ve played going into the World Cup. We have a history of playing good cricket leading into the World Cup.”
“For some reason, things change. Maybe we wanted too much. I think players wanted too much and you’ve gone outside of the area you need to be doing. Maybe going outside of their roles because they wanted too much. Stick to your roles. Trust the partner next to you. And just play the cricket you’ve been playing.”
Faf du Plessis, South Africa’s captain during the 2019 World Cup in England, where they failed to reach the semi-finals, warned that adapting to the conditions in India would be the biggest challenge for Temba Bavuma‘s men.
“South Africa’s white-ball team is in a strong place. They’ve got some real experience going into that World Cup. The challenge for all teams that are not from the subcontinent is obviously always the challenge of going to the subcontinent.”
“Especially 50-over cricket. I find with T20 cricket, the surfaces are a bit more even. And you get some really good pitches. With 50-over cricket, you can get that wear and tear and the spinners really come into their own.”
The right-handed batter added that hosts India, and multiple times winners Australia would be the teams to beat in the competition. “I think South Africa has got a really good side. It will be hard to get past a team like India in home conditions. The other team you can never write off is Australia, with them being so successful in ICC events.”
(With IANS inputs)