Team South Africa
World Cup Claim to Fame:
South Africa - World Cup Ladder
11 Apr 2006
By: Richard Edmunds
Mostly disappointing defeats, leading to them being dubbed World Cup 'chokers', particularly in the first round at home in 2003. 1999 World Cup campaign ended in one of the great ODIs of all time in the semi-finals.
1. Close to unbeatable at their best, even against Australia.
2. Disappointing exits in recent world cups.
1) Jacques Kallis
One of the best all-rounders in the last decade, Kallis has dropped the bowling to some extent to focus on his now prolific batting but remains a top-class all-rounder and will play a big role in the World Cup.
2) Shaun Pollock
Bounced back impressively after some had labelled him as over the top a couple of years ago. Although he has dropped slightly in pace, he remains one of the best bowlers in the international game.
3) Herschelle Gibbs
Destructive on his day, Gibbs is just starting to find his feet in the middle order after moving down from opening. Can turn a match single-handedly.
4) Graeme Smith
A world-class batsman, Smith has grown into the captaincy role thrust upon him at a young age and has become one of the better tacticians in world cricket.
5) Boeta Dippenaar
Has put together several years of stunning consistency and prolific scoring in ODI cricket. An absolute certainty at the top of the order.
6) Makhaya Ntini
A bowler of considerable pace and unbelievable stamina, Ntini is an excellent ODI performer and will be as difficult to handle as ever when he takes the new ball.
7) Justin Kemp
As England and New Zealand discovered in 2005, this man can hit the ball a long, long way. Sympathies to bowlers who have to bowl to him with his eye in inside the last ten overs of an innings.
8) Jacques Rudolph
A player of immense talent and superb temperament, Rudolph is an excellent middle order player and will play many an important innings in the middle stages of the innings.
9) Andre Nel
Nel is an aggressive fast bowler who has become so unpopular with crowds in other nations that he is actually quite popular. He is also a reliable wicket-taker and will be at his fiery best.
10) Mark Boucher
Boucher is one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen in the world. Although slightly inconsistent in both, he often produces stunning pieces of glovework and is able to produce a sustained period of hard hitting late in an innings. No other wicket-keeper in South Africa has really had a chance in the last decade.
11) Andrew Hall
An aggressive all-rounder, Hall is capable of having a big impact in any part of the game in which he is involved. Sure to produce several pieces of magic.
12) Ashwell Prince
Excellent in the field, ridiculously fast between the wickets and a more than handy middle-order batsman, Prince is likely to be a key member of the squad.
13) Charl Langeveldt
Although he has taken a while to become consistent at the top level, he has shown several glimpses of his talents, particularly with his match-winning hat-trick against the West Indies in 2005.
14) Nicky Boje
The first-choice spin bowler and a more than useful batsman, Boje is almost a certainty to make the squad.
15) AB de Villiers
Although he has had an excellent start to his test career, de Villiers has so far disappointed in his brief ODI career. A talented all-round sportsman, he is superb in the field and if he can just improve his ODI average slightly he will be a certain team member. Can also keep wickets if required.
16) Johan van der Wath
A considerably talented all-rounder who has not quite found his feet at the top level yet. By 2007 though he may well have done so and has a good chance of playing a big role in the World Cup campaign.
17) Jean-Paul Duminy
Only in his early twenties, Duminy is one of the most promising cricketers in South Africa. Although his ODI average after five appearances is just 5.79, he could well make an impression at the top level between now and the World Cup.
18) Monde Zondeki
The start to his ODI career was not impressive, but in the recent Australia tour Zondeki showed that he is capable of performing at this level. Although behind Nel, Pollock and currently Langeveldt in the order, he could easily get some game time in the Cup.
19) Garnett Kruger
He hasn't yet shown it at the top level, but the bald paceman's List A statistics are too good to suggest that he won't be up to performing in the green colours of South Africa.
20) Andrew Puttick
Another of the group of talented young batsmen in South Africa, Puttick was out for 0 in his debut. But better things lie ahead in this 25-year old's future.
21) Albie Morkel
His unique bowling action has so far attracted more attention than his performance, but Morkel has been solid in his limited ODI career to date with both bat and ball.
22) Dale Steyn
Fast but often embarrassingly wayward, Steyn has potential to be a considerable force with the ball but as yet has produced far more no-balls and wides than wickets. But a year is more than enough time to improve.
23) Johan Botha
An obviously talented cricketer but his career has been put on hold as his bowling action has been found to be illegal and he has been banned by the ICC. Not quite up to the standard required to make the team as only a batsman, a change to his action is required for him to be in consideration.
24) Stephen Cook
Cook was the top scorer in the 2005-06 List A Standard Bank Cup in South Africa. With an average just under 51 in one-day cricket, the 23-year old looks an excellent prospect.
25) Robin Peterson
Of a currently small pool of talented spin bowlers in South Africa, Peterson has more potential than most. He hasn't shown it yet for South Africa but his talent, both with the ball and the bat, could take him close to making the squad.
26) Morne van Wyk
Although de Villiers's ability to keep wickets part-time will more likely see him as the backup to Boucher, van Wyk is a capable keeper-batsman with averages in the high 30s in First Class and List A. Far from impossible that he'll make the squad.
27) Jon Kent
Another in a large group of talented all-rounders in South Africa, Kent has fallen behind the likes of Hall, Kemp, van der Wath and Morkel in the order. But if he continues to perform at first-class level his talents may not continue to be overlooked.
28) Justin Ontong
Although there was controversy surrounding his test debut, Ontong did not disgrace himself and is an obviously talented cricketer who could well, with some improvement, come into contention.
29) Goolam Bodi
A left-arm spinner and an all-rounder in his own right with 3 List A centuries against his name, Bodi could easily come into contention with a good patch of form at domestic level.
30) Tyron Henderson
An all-rounder with a lot of ability and impressive statistics, particularly his best figures of 5-5 in a one-day match, the main thing against him is the fact that he is 30 and has so far failed to attract the attention of the selectors.
31) Hashim Amla
Although his talent is undeniable, the only thing developing at any great speed for Amla is his spectacular beard. The World Cup will probably just come too soon for the 22-year old, who is more suited to the longer form of the game anyway. However, he is a possible future captain.
32) Neil McKenzie
His performances have been far from disappointing, but it seems that McKenzie is out of the selectors' minds at present, having not played an ODI since late 2003. He seems to have fallen behind several younger players in the pecking order.
33) Roger Telemachus
Although he recently returned to the ODI team, his performances against Australia have probably earnt him another spell on the sidelines. He has the ability though and could well make another comeback to the team.
34) Thami Tsolekile
Although he attracted the attention of many early in his career, at one point even replacing Boucher in the playing eleven, he has now fallen behind de Villiers and van Wyk as backup to Boucher. He is very talented with the gloves and handy with the bat, but seems just too far down the order to be on the plane to the West Indies.
35) Loots Bosman
The aggressive top order batsman has been given a fair bit of attention by national selectors, having played a Twenty20 international. He could well remain in calculations come World Cup time despite the fact that he is older than many of his rivals.
36) Thandi Tshabalala
Just 21 years old, he has started his career well for the Eagles. However, having not received an opportunity yet, he seems unlikely to play a role in 2007.
37) Ryan McLaren
A talented young all-rounder, 23-year old McLaren will probably wear the South African colours at some stage in his career. 2007 will come too quickly for him though.
38) Mario Olivier
He looks a player with a ton of potential, taking an average of two wickets per match so far in his one-day career. But he has only played 11 matches to date.
39) Ethy Mbhalati
Another talented young paceman whose lack of opportunities so far will count against his chances of making the World Cup squad. But you never know.
40) Mfuneko Ngam
One of the most exciting bowlers South Africa has produced. Very fast and has the accuracy too. But will he ever recover from his injuries?