The South African public is quite excited about the World Cup this year as they feel that their team is strongest in the One Day International format right now and if their players don’t choke at a crucial stage as they have been doing for the last 22 years, the team can bring the trophy home this time.
Ahead of almost every World Cup, South Africa happens to be one of the most spoken about teams, but, rarely do they make it big when the actual show time comes. They would obviously say that luck has played tricks with them a couple of times and that’s true, but, they have lost opportunities by themselves as well. The last time around when the World Cup took place in the subcontinent, they beat India in the group stages, but, then, in the quarter finals, they lost to New Zealand which was a shock for everyone.
The South African players seem to get into the occasion a bit too much. They should learn from some of the other teams, India for example. India would fall far behind South Africa in terms of talent, but, when it comes to big nights, the Indian players just don’t get flustered and believe themselves to beat any team that they come across. South Africa needs the same sort of belief because if all the departments click for them, they can be bullish, absolutely bullish.
When the World Cup had happened Down Under in 1992, South Africa had made the final 4 and could have made the final too, but, the untimely rain and the strange setting of the revised target denied them that opportunity. They needed 22 runs in 13 balls to beat England in the semis and then, after rain, their revised target was set to 22 off 1 ball. It was heart breaking for them to lose that way.