Pollock: SA will make final

2011-02-10 18:08

Johannesburg - Former captain Shaun Pollock is confident South Africa can overcome their past agonies at the World Cup and make the final in this year's edition on the sub-continent.

"I have a firm belief that we will definitely make the final, I've got that feeling. We're only ranked fourth, but maybe that's what we need, it's going to be a very open tournament. We need to plod through the opening round and then put three good performances together at the end and there's no reason we can't win it," Pollock said at SuperSport's World Cup dinner in Bryanston on Wednesday night.

South Africa's leading ODI wicket-taker, with 387 in 294 matches, believes the seeds of success lie in the team not being particularly highly-rated and the fact that lady luck is overdue to smile on them.

"We've been extremely unfortunate in the past, so we are due some luck, we all hope for a happy ending this time. At some stage, things will run for us and we always have a team that has an excellent chance of winning the competition," Pollock said.

The great all-rounder said although the squad of 15 provided numerous options, it would be up to a dozen players to produce the goods.

"They're going to depend on 12 players, players 13, 14 and 15 - the only ones whose places there was some debate about - will probably play very little part. It's very difficult to play all of them, maybe they'll get a chance against the minnows," Pollock said.

The Natalian said he did not support the exclusion of fellow all-rounder Albie Morkel, but added an extra spin bowler could fulfil the same role.

"As one myself, I have a soft spot for the seam-bowling all-rounder and I would have liked to have had Albie Morkel in the squad. But he's had a lot of opportunity and you could say he should have solidified his place in the team by now.

"But they'll probably play two spinners, they'll be your all-rounders. Having Jacques Kallis back allows it," Pollock pointed out.

South Africa's leading ODI wicket-taker, with 387 in 294 matches, said co-hosts Sri Lanka also had a very good chance of winning the World Cup, despite their lack of fast bowlers.

"Sri Lanka have a real chance, they've been under the radar, although playing against the West Indies will not be ideal preparation.

"But the conditions will suit them, even though they have no real pace, Lasith Malinga does a job for them and then their spinners will be a handful. The opposition don't know much about a lot of their players and they've all matured quickly in the last couple of years," Pollock said.

"India will be under a lot of pressure at home, while England are low on confidence at the moment and the injury to Eoin Morgan will be a huge loss.

"Australia have their problems too. There's no doubt they'll be competitive, but they've had a few wobbles in recent history that have rocked their foundations. They used to have guys that they could depend on to quickly turn games around, but now everyone needs to be at their best and contributing for them to win.

"Michael Hussey won't be there and they will miss him, but Australia have been there and done it before, which counts for a lot. A lot of their players already have a World Cup under the belt.

"And Pakistan are like the French rugby team - you just never know how they'll be on the day," Pollock said.


  • scott - 2011-02-10 18:43

    in 2007 the world laughed at us for taking telemachus, who ended up being the only player in the entire tournament not to get a game. now they laughing coz we the only team without a reputation-power-hitter and took useless robin peterson instead. and for the peterson huggers . . . he has a batting average of 12, bowling average of 54 and has never ever won a match all on his own, like albie or miller, even for the cobras. albie was the only foreign ipl player retained by champions chennai super kings

      BigWig - 2011-02-10 19:50

      AHA ,but we have a secret weapon this time, whats that guys name who has never played for SA , lets us be reminded.

      vicj - 2011-02-10 21:10

      Oi Bigwig, is this chap not from Pakistan, a country known for match fixing?

      Mr. B - 2011-02-11 12:27

      He was probably held onto by CSK because they knew in his current form that they would have got nowhere near the money that they paid for him in the first place. - 2011-02-11 12:50

      Do you copy and paste this comment on all the cricket stories???

  • Tanya - 2011-02-10 18:58

    So we'll make the final...but we won't win it. Probably lose by one run on the D/L Method or something equally dramatic. Is that what Polly is saying?

      cgreeff - 2011-02-10 20:40

      Hope not.....I agree and damn sure hope that "we are due!"

  • Mr. B - 2011-02-10 21:34

    We'll be competitive and I think by saying Albie wouldn't have been his ommision "he's had a lot of opportunity and you could say he should have solidified his place in the team by now.' is a PC way of saying Albie isn't good enough. Come on guys, bring it home, it's time. @Scott - we've never had a spinner that takes heaps of wickets mate, deal with it, if Peterson can average 4.84 an over in a 40 match career so far, he's good enough in my books. I'd rather be chasing the 242 his bowling would dish up than the 270 odd Morkels economy rate gives you 5.47. Tell me this, we're on the subcontinent, on tracks that are "low and slow" and Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe are all in the top 10 ODI bowlers, where do you find a spot for Albie mate ? With his batting average of 22 that is boosted by a highest average against Zimbabwe against who he has his only two 50's? Just a thought.

      thobani.sibisi - 2011-02-11 09:44

      Spot on Mr B... - 2011-02-11 12:56

      There you go! You've been told!!!!

  • paulmandlankosi - 2011-02-10 21:55

    We are just adding numbers

  • Thomas - 2011-02-11 01:51

    You are right Polly! Hope you are not meaning Kirsten, Trott or Peterson!!

  • Alwyn - 2011-02-11 07:24

    But Polly thats what you also said in 2003

  • Bhafo - 2011-02-11 08:03

    What would you have Pollock say,"The proteas will choke." The Man is twice the person you guys are and besides his a South African so he will always say supoorting & encouraging things to the Proteas. Some of you should rather not watch or support the Team.

      Mr. B - 2011-02-11 12:27

      Well said Bhafo - spot on the money mate.

  • Thato Goitsemang - 2011-02-11 08:18

    I look forward to that Polly and that would make me super happy! Go Proteas Happy Protea Friday everyone, hope you are wearing your green - let's do this for the boys.

  • Kgopotso - 2011-02-11 09:15

    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride..

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-02-11 10:08

    Thank you for yr optimism Polly..But, realistically we just don't have that..that what turns good into awesome !!! Here's a few things to consider: We don't have an explosive batter if req'd. AB is not the best of keepers. Tsotsobe is top heavy at the moment (head's gotten too big). Throwing Tahir in the deep-end (secret weapon or not) is a risky chance....sorry 4 the doom n gloom but no doubt, Polly, it will be a Cracker !!!

      Mr. B - 2011-02-11 11:21

      Currie Mafia - we don't have an explosive batsman ? What would you call Amla averaging 56 at a strike rate of 98 ? And AB de Villiers with a career strike rate in the mid 90's ? I think Morne van Wyk also would take exception to your comment, granted we don't have a Pathan like blaster, but to be honest, if the top six are making big runs, your "big hitter" wouldn't even get a bat. What we do need is a few calm heads that can hold it together in he eventuality of a collapse.

  • Greegs - 2011-02-11 10:52

    What you smoking Polly? We won't get past India and England in the pool stages!!!

      Mr. B - 2011-02-11 11:17

      We got past India three times here China and England just got owned by Australia, methinks you may be overly pessemistic.

      Broombastic - 2011-02-11 12:52

      Mr. B, we're not playing India "here". Different kettle of fish on their home turf. Although, we have faired decently in India in the past, so who knows.

  • May - 2011-02-11 11:34

    I LOVE my cricket and fully support the Protea's but Polly I am sad to say we dont stand a chance this year!!! team way to weak in all departments!!

      Mr. B - 2011-02-11 12:20

      May - please explain how we can be weak in all departments when we have: Number 1 and 2 in the current ODI Batter rankings, with a total of three in the top 10 and 5 in the top 20. We have 3 bowlers in the top 10 and are rated as one of the best (if not the best fielding side) in the world. Where are we lacking ? Is it in our place kicking ? Or maybe we don't have a fetcher ? - 2011-02-11 13:01

      Love it Mr B !!!

      lawnservicebobs - 2011-02-11 13:03

      Sadly our fielding is no longer amongst the best in the world. We've fallen a long way since the Johnty Rhodes era in which our fielding was worth an extra 30-40 runs. We regularly put catches down and we don't create quite so many runout opportunities. De Villiers has never kept wicket on the sub continent (Not that I can recall anyway) and a lot of the keeping is going to be standing up to the stumps to guys like Tsotsobe and even Kallis is he gets a bowl. Taking such an inexperienced keeper to the subcontinent for a World Cup is just not a great idea. Also remember that Kallis has the weight of all expectations yet he is going into the World Cup nursing an injury and may not even be able to bowl. The lack of a big hitter coming in at 7 is a huge issue as that is where a lot of matches are won or lost. It will be great if we can scrap this one out but I'm a bit concerned.

  • tommy 2 - 2011-02-11 12:00

    Get off that Durban poison.....Poly.

  • maharaj.neeta - 2011-02-11 13:10

    I'm also disappointed that Albie didnt make the team... but this is the team they chose to represent us (whether we like it or not) and it's not going to change. Bring it home boys - where it belongs!!

  • pages:
  • 1