How South Africa can win the World Cup: Don’t say the C word

How South Africa can win

It’s not impossible to mention the world cup without slipping in South Africa’s past; it’s just not that fun.  Without South Africa failing it wouldn’t feel like such a special tournament.  Everyone needs the Washington Generals. Their torment is part of the mystique; no one proves that World Cups are hard to win more than South Africa.

Every thing South Africa does is looked at through their comical history.  It doesn’t mean they can’t win the world cup; it also doesn’t make it easier.  If South Africa wins this tournament, their painful past will just make it sweeter.

Their big problem was obvious against England, the middle order was weak.  Yet, with their top four all being cautious batsmen, they have the potential to cover over the cracks with careful batting.

While other teams can’t afford to bat in a one paced way and give up potential runs, South Africa have the best attack in the world cup.  Their weakest bowler is Robin Petersen, and he doesn’t even have to be their fifth bowler.  They could play Steyn, Morkel, Tsotsobe, Tahir, Kallis as the 5th bowler and Duminy as the 6th bowler, if they play slightly within themelves and don’t lose wickets.

With this line up they should be able to control the game and play decisive conservative balanced cautious pragmatic cricket, also known as the South African Way.

What South Africa must do

Keep Amla in his magical form.

How you can beat South Africa

Morne Morkel is mentally fragile, Imran Tahir can go for runs, Kallis doesn’t seem to like to bowl as much these days, Tsotsobe is hittable, Botha is easier to manoeuvre without a doosra and Robin Petersen is a bowler you can work over.  Sure, I’ve just said above that their the best bowling attack in the tournament, but they’re really only fighting for that honour with Sri Lanka, so it doesn’t mean that much.

The attack is varied and talented, but take Dale Steyn out of it, and it has issues.  The problem is taking him out of the attack without losing any wickets to him is not easy.  If you don’t give him wickets, you can afford to go along at four an over against him.  Against India, he took five wickets, you just can’t allow that.  Without Tahir, and they may not play him, Steyn has to take wickets.  Especially if they are batting slower to protect the middle order.

In 07, Australia let Kallis bat because he couldn’t score quick enough to hurt them. Now that system would play into their hands as their attack is better, and thanks to T20, Kallis has a fifth gear.  To beat them you have to get out their top four.  I know what you’re thinking, “Jrod, what a revolutionary game plan you’ve come up with, the first four wickets, genius”.  The thing is, I don’t think their middle order has what it takes to post or chase a total if early wickets go down.  They are capable of chipping in, like they did against India, but at the moment they don’t look like being part of anything substantial. You have to get through to them, so unless you want to off them in a comedy Springfield Isotopes way, I’d suggest wickets.

The most important thing is to never give up against them, distant and recent history show that you’re always a chance, no matter how over the game looks.  However I’d suggest spending more time on working out how to beat Amla and Steyn, and less on working out who will pull a Donald.

What not to do against South Africa

Don’t mention the C word when facing Steyn.

Have you Chuck Fleetwood-Smithed yet?

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9 thoughts on “How South Africa can win the World Cup: Don’t say the C word

  1. s.singh says:

    “Don’t mention the C word when facing Steyn.”




  2. Kuram says:

    oohhh should have waited a day before that post… South Africa’s lower order just chipped in….

    • jrod says:

      Kuram, This post is about how they win the tournament, not how they dismiss a handy minnow. If their middle order performs like this in the quarters and semis, I’ll happily I’ll admit I was wrong.

  3. Choamy says:

    All SA need do is invoke the powers of the mystical creature that has set up residence atop Jacques Kallis’ head!

  4. Criclover says:

    Quarter Finals–
    SA vs SL
    India vs Pak
    Eng vs NZ
    WI vs AUS

    SA vs NZ
    IND vs AUS

    AUS vs SA

  5. Heiku says:

    Hi Jrod,

    I have been lurking your blog for sometime and i genuinely enjoy reading about your views on the greatest game on earth and its characters, but it has become apparent that you have some kind of deep seeded hatred for South Africans. So i am going to label you a racist and never read your blog again as an act of patriosm.

    This comment would be quite pointless if i didnt atleast ask why? Why do you hate South Africans? Is there something wrong with you? Or us? I just dont get it.

  6. Alchemist says:

    I don’t know why but they always come with a bad luck.

  7. Mumbai says:

    How did you manage to write such a sane article? Did you write it?

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