Former South African captain, Graeme Smith said that there are no weak links in South Africa’s ODI side. Graeme Smith said that this group knows what it takes to do well in the tournament.
“Quinton De Kock has led the charge superbly from a batting perspective, and he’s just one of several very exciting cricketers who’ve helped support AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis since that last tournament.” said Smith.
Although AB de Villiers injury last year made it suspicious whether he can retain his old form back, but everything got clear after his good form in recent series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Dale Steyn got injured twice last year and got ruled out of the squad. It will be a big blow for South Africa if he’s not fit too soon ahead of the Champions Trophy in June.
“Imran Tahir has been a revelation in terms of his consistency and the energy he brings to the side” Said Smith. Imran Tahir has been very effective for South Africa since his return in the squad in 2013. Last year he was in tremendous form as the 38 years old took 27 wickets in 14 matches with an average of 25 with career best figures of 7 wickets for 45 runs.
Graeme Smith said that AB and Faf taking the team forward, will make a good environment in the team where every player knows it’s key roles in the team.
“Consistency in selection is, of course, important, but it’s not the be all and end all” , “Player’s responsibility and confidence will be key to us winning games in England.”
Smith said that in 2015 South Africa really struggled in finding an all-rounder, but Wayne Parnell and Farhaan Behardien have been consistent in the last few series, especially with Wayne Parnell’s performance with the ball.
“I look at the side now and am struggling to find a weak link as there are lots of quality options with the ball as well as with the bat.”
Smith also added that the three games against England in May, will help the players to adapt the English pitches and conditions to prepare for the Champions Trophy and then perform in the tournament.
South Africans have that tag which goes along with them in every tournament which has been very unfortunate. It has been 20 years since last South Africa won a one-day cup, which was Champions Trophy, back then “Mini World Cup”.
“The players will have to deal with that, and remind themselves that they were not far away in 2015. This is a side that fans love to watch, with some best players in the world.”
It’s a fact that South Africans have been favorites of every tournament in last 10 years but luck couldn’t accompany them at the end.
South Africa are currently ranked as Number 1 in the ICC ODI ranking. They have been on a brilliant run since 2016 season and have won 6 out of 7 one-day series, including white washes against Australia and Sri Lanka of 5 nill at home. South Africa has been 32 one-day series matches after World Cup 2015. They have won 23 matches and lost 10 out of 32 matches with a winning percentage of 71.37% .
South Africans have a tough tour ahead of England where they will play one-day series against England starting on May 24. Then they’ll kick off their Champions Trophy campaign and after that a test series against England. South Africa will compete against India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the group stage of Champions Trophy.