ss_blog_claim=a3650b8eebfe3434539d25e084e19bcf ss_blog_claim=a3650b8eebfe3434539d25e084e19bcf Blood Rayne: South Africa as underdogs

South Africa as underdogs

South Africa will go into the World Twenty20 in the West Indies without being burdened by the expectations of their supporters. Graeme Smith's team will be underdogs as they make another attempt to win an ICC global event. South Africa have coach van Zyl, a captain recovering from injury and a team whose players were starring during the IPL. With the exception of fast bowler Dale Steyn and all-rounders Kallis and Albie Morkel, South Africa's leading bowlers spent most of their time in India.

As spin likely to be an important factor, Smith admitted it was disappointing that Merwe played in only one game and off-spinner Johan Botha did not get on the field. The only South African batsman to perform consistently throughout the IPL was Kallis, for the RCB. Smith suffered a broken finger while fielding in the IPL and picked up bat again on April 14. They have only got five or six days to get themselves ready for the tournament and they got to knuckle down.

South Africa will not be alone, in having to rush their preparation, with the tournament starting just five days after the IPL final. South Africa have been beaten semi-finalists in seven ICC events going back to the 1992 World Cup, but reached only one final, in 1998. South Africa have the potential to be competitive in the West Indies, where they will play group matches against India in St. Lucia and newcomer Afghanistan in Barbados. A headache will be to decide which two of Smith, Kallis, Bosman and Gibbs should open the batting. Another decision will be whether to play both spinners, Van der Merwe and Botha.


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