Colin Bryden

SA have a good chance, but...

2012-09-18 10:23
Sport24 columnist Colin Bryden (File)
South Africa have a great chance of success in the ICC World Twenty20, but so do at least seven other teams.
I was having a cup of coffee with three former first-class cricketers this morning and when we started talking about the T20 the range of possibilities expanded with every point that was made in what became a lively discussion.
In Asian conditions you have to fancy the chances of India, Pakistan and hosts Sri Lanka.
West Indies have the ultimate T20 match-winner in Chris Gayle, and one or two other handy players.
England are the defending champions and even without Kevin Pietersen cannot be discounted. Australia have three highly talented young fast bowlers and a big-hitting opening pair in David Warner and Shane Watson. New Zealand have Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum, who are both capable of rapid scoring.
So, any assessment of South Africa’s chances has to be tempered with realism and the knowledge that no 20-overs game is wholly predictable.
The Proteas have quality in depth with several potential match-winners. They have a strong bowling line-up, although it was worrying to note that Morne Morkel conceded 51 runs in four overs in the warm-up match against New Zealand.
The batting line-up has the class and experience of Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla to balance the unpredictability of the bludgeoning bat of Richard Levi, while the form of AB de Villiers in the warm-up game will have been welcomed. Provided there is a reasonable platform, the rest of the batting order has enough talent to keep the score racing along.
First things first, though. They have to get past Zimbabwe in their opening game at an unfamiliar venue in Hambantota. It shouldn’t be too difficult, but our neighbours have one or two decent cricketers themselves.
A slip-up against Zimbabwe could be costly because the only other group game is against Sri Lanka, not the sort of opponents any team would choose for a must-win contest in order to reach the Super Eight stage.

Colin Bryden is back on his couch watching the one-day games after reporting live on the Test series in England.

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