Any side that has AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn in it has to be classed as serious contenders for a one-day World Cup, and that is not where the South Africans’ quality ends.
De Villiers will provide the power and invention in the Proteas batting line-up, which includes gun players such as Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and Francois du Plessis.
As much as people talk about power being crucial at the top of the order in one-day cricket, there is room for composure too, and Test captain Amla has that in bucket loads.
De Kock is not likely to play in the opening two matches of the tournament due to an ankle ligament injury, but the selectors have chosen to include him anyway ahead of the latter stages of the competition.
Their bowling line-up is built around speedster Steyn, rated as top Test bowler in the world and the number two in the ODI rankings.
South Africa have the players to succeed Down Under, but history suggests they don’t handle the pressure situations very well.
With a number of young players in their line-up such as de Kock, David Miller and Rilee Rossouw, their lack of baggage when it comes to previous failures may be an advantage.
Captain De Villiers led his dynamic side on one-day tours to Australia and New Zealand prior to Christmas, an obvious advantage, while conditions in that part of the world should be similar to back home, especially in Australia.
They start against local rivals Zimbabwe in Hamilton before facing fellow Pool B powerhouses India at Melbourne on February 22.
South Africa will be Australia’s biggest challengers, and that final would be an absolute cracker. Likely finalists.
South Africa Squad
AB de Villiers, Kyle Abbott, Quinton de Kock, Francois du Plessis, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Aaron Phangiso, Rilee Rossouw.
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