As the ODI World Cup 2023 unfolds, South Africa’s former captain, AB de Villiers, unveils a unique game plan that could be the key to success for his beloved team. While the Temba Bavuma-led side delivered an impressive performance in their opening match, the strategy of flying under the radar excites de Villiers.
South Africa’s journey in the ODI World Cup 2023 began with a resounding victory over Sri Lanka. The match not only marked a significant win for the team but also etched their name in the history books by setting a new record. South Africa blazed a trail by scoring a remarkable 428 runs against Dasun Shanaka’s team, establishing the highest total in a World Cup inning.
In his insightful column at the ICC, AB de Villiers delves into South Africa, avoiding the favorite’s tag. He believes that wearing the crown of favorites can sometimes burden a team with undue pressure. De Villiers reflects on their 2015 World Cup campaign, where his team, despite boasting more superstars, crumbled under the weight of expectations in the semi-final against New Zealand.
“I have played in previous teams that had more superstars in its ranks but struggled to deal with the pressure that came with that,” de Villiers wrote in his column at the ICC.
In his column, de Villiers suggests that flying under the radar is often beneficial, especially in high-stakes tournaments like the World Cup. The longer a team remains unnoticed, the less pressure they face.
The former captain elaborates, “The longer we can fly under the radar, the better, as those are often the tournaments you win. Suddenly, you get to a semi-final, and it is knockout cricket where anything can happen.”
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While discussing South Africa’s prospects, de Villiers singles out Aiden Markram, the match’s star against Sri Lanka. Markram’s blistering century, achieved in just 49 balls, he showcased his explosive capabilities with the bat. However, de Villiers emphasizes that Markram’s game is not just about aggression; he possesses the temperament and ability to construct innings. Heinrich Klaasen’s superb form adds to the team’s depth and dynamism.
AB de Villiers concludes with optimism, expressing his belief that this year might be the one for South Africa. He hopes the acceptable margins will tilt in their favor, setting them on a path to World Cup glory.