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ICC Champions Trophy: South Africa, the perennial underachievers

South Africa cricket team, currently the No 1 ODI team in the world, have stumbled in major tournaments and will be hoping to break a 19-year trophy jinx at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: May 30, 2017 10:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Champions Trophy 2017,ICC Champions Trophy,South Africa cricket team
While Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers would be South Africa cricket team’s batting mainstays at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir and Chris Morris -- who are all in form with the ball -- form a dangerous trio for any batting line-up.(Getty Images)

South Africa and ICC tournament results a tale of tragedy, disbelief and misfortune. Any mention of South Africa’s performances in ICC events and the word ‘choke’ comes into mind.

South Africa
  • ICC ODI ranking: 1
  • ODI performance 2016-17: Played 27, Won 19 , lost 7 , N/R 1 (from Jan 2016)

Since their readmission to international cricket in 1992, the Proteas have found ways to get eliminated from a tournament in bizarre circumstances.

Champions Trophy track record

Matches: 21; Wins: 11; Losses: 9, Tie: 1

Heading into the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England, South Africa are again the favourites, placed in Group B with India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

SA Champions Trophy record
  • 1998, Bangladesh: Winners
  • 2000, Kenya: Semifinal
  • 2002, Sri Lanka: Semifinal
  • 2004, England: Eliminated in league stage
  • 2006, India: Semifinal
  • 2009, South Africa: Eliminated in league stage
  • 2013, England: Semifinal

Having been in good form, South Africa will be looking to end a 19-year hoodoo in ICC tournaments and clinch a much-awaited trophy.

Players to watch out

South Africa have a bunch of match-winners who can change the course of the match. Skipper AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis all have class and experience. There are other players too who provide South Africa the X-factor.

Kagiso Rabada: Pace in excess of 145 kph, pin-point accuracy and deadly swing; at 21, Kagiso Rabada has taken world cricket by storm. In 34 games, he has 57 wickets and has been in magnificent form. English conditions suit Rabada’s qualities and his burst up front with the new ball will be key to South Africa’s performances.

Chris Morris: Morris’ control and accuracy in the death overs makes him a vital member. However, his X-factor lies in his role of a ‘finisher’ as a batsman. In the ODI series against England in early 2016, he got South Africa over the line with explosive knocks down the order. His contribution in the death overs will be crucial if South Africa are to make an impact.

Imran Tahir:The 38-year-old leg-spinner has shown that old is gold. In the past one year, he has been South Africa’s key bowler, picking 35 wickets in 2016/17. Looking at the success of England leg-spinner Adil Rashid in the series against Ireland -- he took six wickets in two games – Tahir’s inclusion makes South Africa’s bowling look complete.

Squad: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Farhaan Behardien, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Chris Morris, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Imran Tahir, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj.

First Published: May 22, 2017 21:32 IST