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South Africa: The Greatest Challenge For Any Opponent at ICC World Cup 2023

South Africa, the team ranked 3th on the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Point Table. This is a strong team and difficult to compete with, even with top 1st – New Zealand, and top 2nd – India.

South Africa

South Africa National Cricket Team

The South Africa men’s National cricket team, also called the Proteas, represents South Africa in men’s international cricket and is governed by Cricket South Africa (CSA). They are a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), its nickname comes from their national flower, Protea cynaroides, commonly known as “King Protea”.

Cricket in South Africa was founded by the British and the first tournament by a team from England took place in 1888 – 1889. They played their first Test match (against the touring England team at Port Elizabeth), becoming the third Test nation.

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Unfortunately, in 1970, the ICC voted to suspend the team from international cricket indefinitely because of the government’s overtly racist policy, which left them only allowed to play against white countries (England, Australia, New Zealand) and only white players on the field. The move caused the departure of many bright future prospects in that time.

The team was reinstated in 1991 as a Test nation following the fall of apartheid. By that, the team played its first official match against India in the same year, and this was their very first ODI. Since their reinstatement, the Proteas have had mixed success. Even when the team was considered the favorite to win major tournaments, luck still deserted them.

The match-fixing scandal shocked the Cricket Association with Hansie Cronje’s statement. With his mysterious due to a plane crash, a chapter of South African cricket had been closed.

One chapter ends, a new chapter begins. The South African cricket kept improved after Hansie’s death, and they were produced many greats. Later, South Africa national cricket team has reached the semi-final of Cricket World Cup 3 times, with Herschelle Gibbs famously defeating Australian captain Steve Waugh in 1999 in a round robin match. They did good in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, but sadly, New Zealand beat the team in quarterfinals, and bringing their World Cup campaign to an end.

The Proteas were once again among the favorites in World Cup 2015. They had a very good run but had to finish against New Zealand in the semi-finals. Then there was their poor performance in the 2017 Champions Trophy, which prevented them from qualifying for the playoffs. In 2018, they suffered a huge blow when arguably their best batsman, AB de Villiers was dropped from international cricket.

Top 10 Greatest Cricket Player in Proteas

A great team cannot lack some famous names, there is some special cricketer for South Africa team.

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10. Jonty Rhodes

When it comes to excellence in the rankings, defending takes a back seat, but not when it’s Jonty Rhodes. He has raised the level of ball blocking to a level that has yet to be reached. Considered by many to be the best boxer of all time, Rhodes ranks 10th on the list.

Rhodes was the first South African cricketer to take 100 wickets in ODIs. In addition to his batting ability, Rhodes also has a pretty good batting record. He has scored over 8000 runs in his career with a highest score of 121 in ODIs.

9. Mark Boucher

Mark Boucher is considered as one of the best ball-keeping goalkeepers behind the stumps.. He is the greatest wicketkeeper in the world, in 467 matches, he has a record of 998 dismissals. Also in Test Cricket with the most dismissals (555) in this game.

When it comes to batting, Boucher is among the elite players to score 10,000 international runs for the proteas. Boucher has scored exactly 10,289 runs and is 9th in the list of highest run-scorers for the Proteas.

8. Makhaya Ntini

Makhaya Ntini is ranked 8th on the list. Millions of Africans aspire to play for their country thanks to his reputation. Ntini is the first black player to play for the Proteas.

Even though he’s not on the field, he never fails to surprise on the field. Ntini has the third highest wicket-taking rate for the Proteas across all formats. He picked up 661 wickets in 283 matches. He was also the 3rd Proteas player to pick 300 Test wickets after Shaun and Allan Donald.

7. Graeme Smith

Smith was given command of the South African national team when he was 22 years old, making him the youngest player to captain his national team. Little did anyone know that that boy would become their most successful captain.

With 102 appearances in Test cricket, Smith is the most capped captain. He is also the only player in the world to have served as captain in more than 100 Test matches.

Talking about his batting ability, he is considered one of the best opening batsmen in the world. He has over 4,300 opening partnerships and his tournament score of 259 is the highest individual swore at the cricket mecca.

Smith is 4th in the list of most runs for South Africa in all formats having scored over 17000 international runs

6. Allan Donald

‘White Lightning’ ranks 6th on the list. Donald was not only the best fast bowler in South Africa during his time but was also the number 1 bowler in the World. He and Shaun Pollock are one of the best bowling duos in the world.

Allan Donald was the first South African bowler to take 300 international wickets. With 272 wickets to his name, He has the 2nd highest number of wickets in ODi’s for the Proteas.

5. Hashim Amla

Hashim Amla is one of the best tennis players the world has ever seen. His calmness and thinking ability on the field were praised by many legends. He is their 4th highest wicket-taker across all formats. He scored 601 goals during his professional career. Amla loves to break records and has quite a few to his name.

Amla is the fastest batsman to reach 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 ODI runs. Dominate the limited form himself. He also became the fastest batsman to achieve 27 ODI centuries. He finished his ODI career with 27 centuries and 8,113 runs to his name

Talking about his prowess in Tests, he scored South Africa’s highest individual score of 311 runs, which remains unbroken. Amla is 3rd in the list of most runs for Proteas in all formats. He scored 18,553 runs in his career.

4. AB de Villiers

Mr 360 was conquered and left eternal admiration in the ticketing world. De Villiers is famous for his style and ability to reach every corner of the field and bring opponents to their knees. De Villiers is one of the best limited-overs batsmen the world has ever seen. He has been the ICC ODI player of the year three times. He also holds the record for the fastest hundred in ODI cricket, smashing 100 off 31 balls.

De Villiers scored 9,577 ODI runs and somewhere these stats overshadowed his performances in red-ball cricket. He bowled 8,776 Test runs at an average of 50.66, making him one of the few batsmen to average over 50 in both formats.

De Villiers has scored 19,864 runs in all formats, making him the 2nd highest run-scorer in Protea’s history.

3. Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn is considered the best fast bowler of this generation and his statistics say the same. He alongside with stumps has broken a lot of records as well. He has been the #1 pitcher statistically for 263 weeks

Steyn has dominant test cricket. Hence, he is considered the supreme force. Steyn has picked up 439 test samples in just 93 matches. Steyn is the highest wicket-taker in South Africa in Test cricket. In all the formats Steyn has chosen. He has been awarded 697 wickets in all formats and is the second highest wicket taker in South Africa.

2. Shaun Pollock

Shaun Pollock appeared as the South African bowling team was led by Allan Donald. He came in and created a formidable pairing with the legend and then eventually surpassed his own records to become the Proteas’ best ever bowler.

Pollack is South Africa’s leading wicket-taker across all formats as he has 823 wickets to his name. He is also the batsman with the 7th highest number of wickets in the world across all formats.

1. Jacques Kallis

Jacques Kallis is the dream of every cricketer. He is what it means to be a person who fulfills the truth and is complete. There are 3 types of All-rounders, Batting all-rounders who can bowl, Bowling all-rounders who can bowl and Jacques Kallis can do both equally well.

Kallis was not considered but was in fact the ‘Best All-rounder’ since cricket was invented. He is the only player in history to score 10,000 runs and take 250 wickets in ODIs as well as Tests.

He was the player of the tournament that won South Africa’s only ICC trophy, the 1998 ICC Champions Trophy.

Kallis scored over 24,000 international runs and took over 500 wickets. He is the only cricketer in the world to do this. He is South Africa’s leading run-scorer in Tests, ODIs and across all formats

ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

In this ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, South Africa continue to prove that their team is a great challenge to any team that faces them. By currently standing in 3rd place, they bring great pressure to the teams that have upcoming matches against them.

With the last match against England, with 229 runs win at the match against England, the Proteas proved they’re not easy opponent. With this victory, they had a total of 3 wins and 2 consecutive wins, they only lost the match against the Netherlands with a close score: 38 runs with 43 over match, not so easy for Netherlands.

The next match for them is against with Bangladesh, who are 6th on the points table, which is a bit easier for them. However, they cannot be too confident because one day the ant may kill the elephant.

In short, South Africa is one of the most strong teams, from the history until now, their performance has always been in top-notch. So, it will be very difficult to Bangladesh, who will face them in the next match in ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

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