World Cup 2023 – 5 South Africa Players to Watch Out for

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The South African cricket team has never been their best in multi-nation tournaments. That’s why, in their long history, they have never won a prestigious tournament despite playing all-out cricket in bilateral series. Be it the ICC Champions Trophy or the ODI World Cup, South Africa has struggled to win the trophy; in fact, they have never been to the finals.

The Proteas have been to the semi-finals in 1992, 1999, 2007, 2011, and 2015, only to lose it from nowhere. Called chokers, South Africa has often struggled to shed this tag, and that’s why, when they lost to New Zealand in 2015, one of their icons, AB de Villiers, fell to the ground and went emotional. 

5 South Africa Players to Watch Out for in the 2023 ODI World Cup

South Africa is dreaming again ahead of the 2023 ODI World Cup. But can they finally win an ICC trophy? It will all depend on the performance of these five players. 

  1. Quinton de Kock 
  2. Aiden Markram 
  3. Heinrich Klaasen 
  4. Kagiso Rabada 
  5. Marco Jansen

Let us look at the players in detail: 

Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock has announced that he will no longer play ODI cricket after the World Cup. He wants to focus on playing T20 cricket, and therefore, the ODI World Cup will be his one last hurrah. Can he bow out on a high? De Kock certainly has those credentials. In 145 ODIs, he has 6176 runs, with 17 hundreds to his name.

He has excellent leg-side play, which is why he can be a superb hooker and a puller of the ball. Most importantly, he has played in India, the host of the ODI World Cup 2023, where he has played many IPL games. His impressive T20 record in India indicates that he is bound to succeed on these pitches.

Aiden Markram

After the departure of Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram is the only person on this side who can bat throughout the 50 overs. That’s why the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain, who had tried his luck at the top of the order, was pushed back to number four – one of the crucial positions in the game.

Markram’s batting is an absolute treat to the eye, as he has some conventional shots in his repertoire. He usually plays in the ‘V’ and is an excellent runner between the wickets. In 55 ODIs, Markram has scored 1665 runs at an average of 35. The 28-year-old has recently hit a century and 93 in the ODI series against Australia.

Heinrich Klaasen

The tall cricketer was just another batter-cum-wicketkeeper until he smashed 174 against Australia recently in Centurion. The way he went for the kill was certainly praiseworthy. He scored fifty off 38 balls and then changed gears so quickly that it shocked the Aussies.

Batting at 5, Klaasen gives this middle-order stability, which is required if the openers return to the pavilion quickly. He has 1323 ODI runs at an average of 41. Last year, Klaasen struck a brilliant 74* against India at Ekana Cricket Stadium, where South Africa will play Australia in their second match of the World Cup 2023 campaign.

Kagiso Rabada

Rabada is going through his peak. One of the finest pacers of his era, the South African, needed some serious talent to rule over the South African cricket community. Fortunately, he was born with it. He had tremendous pace and could swing the ball. The Punjab Kings pacer also has the perfect yorker in the death overs.  

At 28, Rabada is in his peak form. A veteran of two ODI World Cups, Rabada is set to return to India, where he has spent much time playing IPL. He will lead the South African bowling attack, which will be without Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi. He is six wickets shy of the 150 mark in ODIs

Marco Jansen

The 23-year-old left-arm pacer has a long way to go. He is lanky and certainly a fiery pacer. He can extract seams and swing. Plus, Marco Jansen’s height makes sure that he extracts some bounce from docile pitches. The youngster is also a southpaw, which means he has an angle against the right-handers to move the ball in. 

He was the joint-highest wicket-taker in the recently concluded ODI series against South Africa with eight wickets. Entering the ODI World Cup with this momentum is a boon for the youngster.

Concluding Thoughts

In De Kock and Rabada, South Africa has two fantastic cricketers. South Africa will be a strong contender for a semi-final spot if the duo fires. Also, Klaasen, Markram, and Jansen won’t have much difficulty adjusting to Indian conditions and will play pivotal roles in the Proteas squad.

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