Indian great stumped by Proteas' CWC woes

2018-03-05 20:10
Kapil Dev (Getty)

Cape Town - Former Indian captain Kapil Dev is mystified by South Africa's struggles in major ICC tournaments. 

Since re-admission, South Africa have played in seven ICC World Cups without ever having played in a final despite having been considered one of the strongest teams in the world for most of those tournaments. 

The 1999 semi-final defeat to Australia as well as 2015's final over loss to New Zealand stand out us the major disappointments, and results like those have contributed to South Africa being referred to as "chokers" when it comes to World Cup cricket. 

Now, with the 2019 World Cup firmly in sight, the Proteas under coach Ottis Gibson are trying to find a way to finally get over the line at a World Cup. 

Signs in their recently-completed ODI series against India were not good, though. 

South Africa, playing at home, stuttered to a 5-1 defeat and were outclassed by India in all departments. 

Dev, who played in 225 ODIs for India and captained his side to the 1983 World Cup trophy, says he would be concerned if he was South African.

"South Africa, I feel, in the last 20 or 30 years since they have been playing have been a wonderful team," Dev said in Monaco at last week's Laureus World Sports Awards.

"Whenever a major ICC event happens they crumble, and I don't know why.

"There is no shortage of talent or any resources. I love South Africa and the way they play but something happens and I can't point out why ... something has to change."

Dev was not overly surprised by India's dominance in the ODI format, and he believes that they may have even caused an upset in the Test series had they had more preparation in South Africa.

In picking a front-runner for 2019, though, the 59-year-old was cautious.

"I think it's unfair to say at this stage. It's still a long way to go. Any team's top players can get injured and anything can happen," he said.

The end of the 2019 World Cup will signify the end of an era for South African cricket, with the likes of AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and JP Duminy all expected to call it quits following the completion of the tournament.

*Lloyd Burnard was in Monaco as a guest of Laureus ...

Read more on:    laureus  |  proteas  |  laureus awards  |  cricket


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