South Africa – 2019 Cricket World Cup Preview

Over the course of this preview, we will look at the South Africa 2019 Cricket World Cup odds as the country’s squad gets ready to travel to the World Cup in the UK. We’ll take a look at the Cricket World Cup history of a team who first got involved in the tournament back in 1992. And we will assess what their traditional qualities as a unit are currently like.

Furthermore, we will examine the team’s strengths and weaknesses as they battle for the right to be crowned the best One Day team in the world.

How South Africa got to the 2019 Cricket World Cup

South Africa received automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup. The organisers want all of the big nations to be there. So it was decided that the hosts England, plus the seven next best teams in the One Day game would progress without the need for qualification matches.

As of February 2019, South Africa are ranked number four in the world as far as the 50 over format is concerned. Therefore, automatic qualification comes their way.

South Africa’s Odds to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup

The South Africa 2019 Cricket World Cup team currently carry the best industry odds of 9.00 to win the competition. That price comes from Bet365, but should you take them up and place a Satta? This is a new look side and some punters will be wary of a team that lacks the great AB De Villiers.

The normally consistent Hashim Amla is struggling for runs. However, they are a competitive unit who have performed well in home ODI series since the start of 2019. Let’s now take a look at their history before running the rule over key elements of this squad.

South Africa’s History in the Cricket World Cup

South Africa have always been a competitive nation on the cricket field. Nevertheless, South Africa ‘s World Cup record has been one of underachievement. In fact, they have the unwanted tag of the tournament’s ‘chokers.’

– 1992 to 1996

South Africa were excluded from official ICC events until 1992 due to the Apartheid years. Following readmission, the team traveled to Australia for their World Cup debut. Their challenge ended in farcical circumstances, though.

Things were looking promising for that 1992 side as they made it out of the round robin stage. And in the semi final, the South Africans lined up to take on England. Their opponents made 252/6 from their 50 overs and with South Africa needing 22 runs from 13 balls, the chase was on. However, a 10-minute rain delay ended in a ridiculous revised target of 21 runs from one ball. Those equations saw the birth of the Duckworth Lewis method but it was too late to save South Africa’s 1992 campaign.

In 1996, South Africa started strongly again with five wins from five in the groups. However, they couldn’t sustain that run. In the end, West Indies beat them by 19 runs in the Quarter Final.

– 1999 to 2003

The 1999 side reached the knockout stages again. But this is where South Africa’s ‘chokers’ tag really started to take hold. Once again, the team topped their group and in a new format, six countries went on to a Super Six stage. The top four sides then made it to the semi finals where South Africa came up against the Australians.

Everything seemed to be going to plan as five wickets from Shaun Pollock restricted Australia to just 213. Jacques Kallis led the run chase with a half century and at 175/5, South Africa were cruising. Then came the collapse as wickets fell steadily before Lance Klusener and Allan Donald brought the scores level. What happened next was a brainless piece of running between the South African pair that led to a run out. The subsequent tie was enough to send Australia through to the final as South Africa came out on the wrong end of one of the greatest World Cup matches.

The 2003 tournament somehow produced greater farce. As joint hosts with Zimbabwe, South Africa were among the favourites. Thanks to a miscalculation, however, they didn’t even make it out of the groups. In their final Group B game, South Africa were chasing Sri Lanka’s total of 268 when the rain began to fall. Believing that his side needed 229 to win under Duckworth Lewis, skipper Shaun Pollock sent a message out to Mark Boucher. The batsman accordingly smashed a six to reach 229 and then blocked the next ball before the abandonment.

Unfortunately, 229 was only the DL par score to force a tie which wasn’t enough for South Africa to go through. Once again, they had contributed to a memorable World Cup moment for all the wrong reasons.

– 2007 to 2015

In 2007 in the West Indies, South Africa made it to the semi finals. They then produced a poor performance against eventual winners Australia. Having posted just 149, South Africa lost by seven wickets but at least the defeat was fairly uneventful.

2011 produced a similar performance after a dominant display in the groups was followed by a sub-par game at the first knockout stage. In their quarter final against New Zealand, the South Africans lost to the Kiwis by 49 runs while chasing just 222.

The 2015 tournament brings us up to date. And once again, South Africa made it out of their group, albeit with two defeats from six in those early stages. A comfortable nine wicket win over Sri Lanka in the quarter finals then set up a semi with co-hosts New Zealand. The chokers tag returned here, although that’s a little unfair as the Kiwi batters were simply brilliant. Grant Elliott led the charge in a big, successful run chase and South Africa were made to wait at least another four years for their first World Cup trophy.

South Africa’s best player heading into the 2019 Cricket World Cup

There are some isolated reports claiming that AB De Villiers is considering coming out of international retirement for the 2019 World Cup. If that were the case, he would be the key player. Nevertheless, we don’t think that’s going to happen and those reports are certainly not confirmed.

Instead, we’ll look at the South Africa 2019 Cricket World Cup bowlers. We could opt for Kagiso Rabada, who ranks a respectable seventh in the ODI rankings, but we’ll single out Dale Steyn. Both deserve a spot among the top players at the Cricket World Cup. Despite a period of injuries, Steyn has risen to 16th in those same bowler rankings. The stats show that he’s the best South African paceman of all time.

He is closing in on 200 wickets in One Day Internationals and his average and strike rate are comparable with any bowler in the game. He’ll be 36 during the World Cup. However, Steyn’s returned with all the usual fire, pace and hostility and will be key to any South African success in 2019.

South Africa 2019 Cricket World Cup schedule

The South Africa 2019 Cricket World Cup confirmed group matches are listed below. Included are dates for the knockout rounds, should they progress to that stage.

Date Venue Opponents
May 30th The Oval England
June 2nd The Oval Bangladesh
June 5th Southampton India
June 10th Southampton West Indies
June 15th Cardiff Afghanistan
June 19th Edgbaston New Zealand
June 23rd Lord’s Pakistan
June 28th Durham Sri Lanka
July 6th Old Trafford Australia
July 9th Old Trafford Semi Final One
July 11th Edgbaston Semi Final Two
July 14th Lord’s Final

South Africa’s biggest question mark heading into the World Cup

The big question mark in the South Africa 2019 Cricket World Cup side has to hang over their batting. With AB De Villiers retired there is an obvious gap. Still, there are equal concerns over the form of Hashim Amla. The squad will contain some power hitters including David Miller and Quinton De Kock. But Amla provided the solidity and if he is short of runs, South Africa will be vulnerable.

With so much talent lost to Kolpack deals, this is a batting line up in transition. Needless to say, that’s not an ideal situation in World Cup year.

South Africa’s biggest area of strength heading into the World Cup

Batting may be suspect in the South Africa 2019 Cricket World Cup squad. However, there should be no issues with the team’s bowling attack which can benefit from English conditions. We’ve mentioned that Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada feature highly in the ODI rankings. Meanwhile, leg spinner Imran Tahir also slots in as the world number 11 at the time of writing.

With the pace of Andile Phehlukwayo to add to the mix, this is a well-balanced attack. Moreover, it certainly seems to be South Africa’s strongest asset going into the 2019 World Cup.