Men’s ODI WC: Big scores are the name of the game for South Africa, says AB de Villiers

New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS): Legendary South Africa batter AB de Villiers believes the Proteas will have to put big runs on the board to win games in the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup, especially with their recent struggles around their bowling line-up.

South Africa come into the tournament on the back of a 3-2 series win over Australia back home, though they lost pacers Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala to injuries before arriving in India.

The Proteas, yet to win the most coveted trophy in Men’s ODI cricket, will open their World Cup campaign against 1996 champions Sri Lanka at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on October 7.

“With the bat in hand, I believe Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma to start well and set up a foundation, with Klaasen, Markram, and Miller - really explosive batters with a lot of IPL games. They can come in and control the innings. Big scores are the name of the game for South Africa.”

“I think we have to get a lot of 300+ scores to stand a chance because our bowling attack has been struggling. Hopefully, Rabada and Co. can figure it out, and get a few wickets early on, which opens up the gate for Maharaj and Shamsi to really cause havoc in the middle overs to set it up and make it difficult for the batting team,” said de Villiers in a conversation on JioCinema’s daily show ‘#AAKASHVANI’.

De Villiers further described Proteas’ strengths and weaknesses, which lies in their batting and bowling respectively. “South Africa's strength lies with the way they play cricket. Quite an aggressive nature of cricket with a never-say-die attitude. They always feel like they're in the mix and they always fight to the end.”

“They're similar to New Zealand as well. I think they play well while fielding and put pressure on the batters. With the firepower, we have with David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen. On the other hand, their biggest weakness is that they haven't won a lot in the last couple of years. They aren't No. 1 or 2 in the world, which is a little bit of a concern.”

“You always want to be in the top three heading into a World Cup. There's one little bonus that they won against Australia in the series at home. Ultimately, I think the weakness lies with the ball in the first ten overs. They haven't been striking, it is a concern, and hopefully, Kagiso Rabada and Co. will figure it out going into the World Cup.”

De Villiers signed off by hoping South Africa goes all the way to lift the trophy. “I see South Africa going a long way in this World Cup. I feel they're going to have a crunch game in the quarters or the semis, which if they win, will boost them so much that they might just go all the way.”

“I see South Africa winning this World Cup. I know India is the favourite so it's not easy, and there are a lot of other teams playing good cricket. I think the semi-finals are going to be the clincher. If we get that one, then I see South Africa lifting the World Cup in 2023.”



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Title: Men’s ODI WC: Big scores are the name of the game for South Africa, says AB de Villiers

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