The Proteas began their preparations for the Champs trophy superbly, even if it was against Netherlands. Some great news that came out of the match was that Duminy came right back into the team and continued the form he had before he got injured. The 2nd warm up match was a worrying one for them though, against Pakistan, they played with all 15 players selected to give all their batsmen a chance…. and still they only managed a touch over 200, and what was more worrying, was how our bowlers barely troubled the Pakistan batsmen after the way their bowlers troubled ours.
So you can imagine my lack of confidence in this side doing what the SA side in the first ever champs trophy did…. then again, they were warm up matches, and you would expect the pitches for the actual competition to be a lot more bowler friendly, which will surely help the Proteas out a lot more than most other sides.
The are also questions like, how will the team cope without the experience of a Jacques Kallis, or a Graeme Smith, and to be honest, I think we will struggle, but I have hope that just maybe, not having the people who have been around in numerous ICC tournament defeats, might help the team more than hinder them, and dare I say it… Help negate the whole ‘chokers’ tag that seems to be set in stone these days when talking about how they will do in an ICC tournament.
At the end of the day though, the success or failure of this Proteas campaign will come down to a few things… those things are:
- AB de Villiers. Will he make the right choices as captain, and give the Proteas the best chance of winning each match they play?
- The top order needs to do well, now this is important for every team, but for the Proteas it is even more crucial as they have a very fragile and inexperienced middle order.
- No injuries. Obviously this is something they can’t control, but with the squad they have brought, any injuries to their main players will be disastrous in their chances at holding the trophy at the end of it.
- Death bowling. Something we haven’t been very good at in the past, and if we don’t get it right NOW, our chances are all but gone.
- Lastly, we need to win a damn Knockout match!!! Something as everyone knows already… we simply don’t seem able to do.
So for us to pull all this off it will take determination, we have that so that’s fine! Skill and a never say die attitude, something everyone in the squad possesses so we’re good there too! Then lastly we also really NEED some LUCK to go our way…………………………………………. We’re screwed!
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