South Africa play West Indies at New Delhi to kick start their campaign at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
The hosts of the previous two editions of the ICC Cricket World cup take on each other in their respective opening games at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. South Africa who have been so dominant as a one day side ever since the golden days of Lance Klusener and Alan Donald, have always gone into World Cups as favourites. However, to their disarray, they’ve always come out of the tournaments with the tag of “chokers” against their name. So much so, that this time, they go into the tournament with that tag! A rather unfair name to a quality side, which Johan Botha clearly pointed out in his press conference yesterday. Botha is tipped to be leading this team after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 as Graeme Smith has confirmed he will be stepping down from his post.
All the cliches aside, their squad boasts of players like Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel- all in the prime of their careers. Add to that, their back-up players wouldn’t exactly be “back-ups” in most squads. The likes of Botha, Tsotsobe and Faf du Plessis.
It will be interesting if they give exciting leg-spinner Imran Tahir his international debut. Although it is highly unexpected as they wouldn’t want to mess around with their well balanced squad.
Analysis is in the game of the “rich” teams. Australia, South Africa, England, India and the likes. But the world knows of the side from somewhere in a silent corner of the world who will sway to the calypso beats.
West Indies haven’t been considered as contenders for quite a while now. And that’ll work to their advantage. But then again, that’s what has been said over the years and it doesn’t seemed to have done too much to their team.
Nevertheless, they are a brilliant side to watch when in flow and the Delhi crowd will relish watching the powerhouses in Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard trying to whack the cover off of Dale Steyn’s bowling.
On paper, you’d expect South Africa to win. Especially with Hashim Amla’s temperament which is suited to these conditions.
However, the boys from West Indies under eccentric Darren Sammy have shown in the past that they are no pushovers.