Champions Trophy 2013 May 30, 2013

AB de Villiers predicts silverware for South Africa

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AB de Villiers has predicted a stream of South African success at major tournaments, which he hopes will start next month. The ODI captain did not remember that his countrymen captured the inaugural Champions Trophy but is confident they can claim the last and many others after that.

"We haven't won an ICC trophy yet even though we are the No.1 Test team in the world but I've got a feeling there are a few to come in the next few years" he told Dutch radio NOS in Amsterdam, where the South African squad have set up camp. "We are just going to have to wait patiently. We are doing the small things right. The work ethic is there, the talent is there and the belief is there, so we've just got to go out there and give it our best shot."

De Villiers is the first member of the South Africa group to make public the team's real expectations of the Champions Trophy, after Gary Kirsten played down their chances on their departure. As suspected, South Africa have every intention of discarding their chokers' tag in England and are feeling the heat as the event gets closer.

"There is always some pressure," de Villiers said. "We are a very talented cricketing nation and we understand there are some responsibilities in performance. We would love to say we are just going to go and enjoy it but it's more complicated than that. We've got to win some big games and we would love to win the trophy. I think we are preparing in the right way."

In an attempt to replicate the success on last year's Test tour of England, when South Africa claimed the Test championship mace, Kirsten has taken the squad to Amsterdam. They met up with explorer Mike Horn and did a cycle and canoe tour of the city before getting down to the business of net sessions.

Wet weather has not dampened South Africa's plans. Despite 42mm of rain falling on Wednesday night, the groundstaff was able to dry the surface sufficiently for practice to get under way as planned at 10am on Thursday. That was the last training session before an ODI against the Netherlands tomorrow, the first of two warm-up matches before the tournament starts.

The fixture against the Netherlands is a particularly important one because it will be the first time in 67 days that South Africa will take the field as a team. It will also be the first opportunity for nine of their squad to get game time after a break of almost two months.

JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis (both because of injury), Rory Kleinveldt, Hashim Amla, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Farhaan Behardien, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Colin Ingram have not played any cricket since the end of the South African season. The rest will be relied on to bring "match intensity," Kirsten said. De Villiers, David Miller, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Ryan McLaren were in action at the IPL and while Alviro Petersen played in England.

While much of the focus has been on the batsmen, and the middle order in particular, South Africa will also want their quicks to find their rhythm quickly. Both Kleinveldt and Peterson expect the tournament to be more of a bowler-headlined spectacle because of the time of year, the conditions and the opposition.

"I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few low scoring games," Kleinveldt said. "I watched the Test and saw Jimmy Anderson swinging it. There should be plenty for the bowlers."

And Peterson believes South Africa's bowlers in particular will benefit. "Dale and Morne looked really impressive in the IPL." he said. "With two new white balls and India and West Indies in our group, we can do well. Their batting line-ups tend to dominate more on subcontinental surfaces."

Steyn and Morkel may be rested for the Holland match so South Africa can ensure all parts of their machine are working as they should be before they head to England. But they also know they will not be able to get away with a below-par performance against a much lower-ranked team.

They've done their homework on the Dutch. Netherlands batsman Stephan Myburgh is a former schoolmate of de Villiers' and the brother of Johann Myburgh, who played for the Titans in South Africa before moving to New Zealand.

"I know Stephan from the age of nine," de Villiers said. "I am very happy for him that he got his chance to play international cricket, I am very proud of the fact that he did that because I know that was always a dream of his. He probably didn't get his break in South Africa and he couldn't find a way into the Titans.

"He was quite young when he took a chance to come over here and saw opportunity to play international cricket and took it with both hands. You've got to do what you've got to do," he said. "Back home competition is quite tough and he just didn't get his chance when he was young. You never know, if he stuck it out for a few more years… but he will be proud of the fact that he is playing international cricket and I am proud he has achieved that."

Coming up against a former countryman who has crossed borders is not new to South Africa and it has ensured they see familiar faces almost everywhere they go. That may be one of the reasons de Villiers said the squad "could not have asked for a better place to prepare before the big tournament." Next week will be an opportunity for them to show whether the effort paid off.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Greatest_Game on May 31, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    @ SamRoy wrote "If Kallis plays SA won't win anything ... he contributes more to losing matches than winning them."

    SA won the 1st Champions Trophy, 1998/99, & Jacques Kallis scored an undefeated 113* off 100 balls, took 5 for 30 (only tournament 5 for,) won Player of the Match in the semi-finals, Player of the Match in the Finals, & Player of the series.

    His records:

    Batting: 2nd most runs (164) at 3rd highest average (82,) 2nd highest score (130*) with Wallace most tournament sixes (6,) most sixes in an innings (5.)

    Bowling: most wickets (8,) best figs in an inngs (5 for 30,) 2nd best ave (14,) best tournament strike rate (16.1), 2nd best strike rate in an inngs (9.)

    Today, on cricinfo Statistics Home Page, the leading entry is "Number Crunching." It reads: 1 - Jacques Kallis is the only player to have scored a century and taken a five-wicket haul in the Champions Trophy.

    Records show Kallis still holds Championship Trophy records. You hold only inexplicably flawed opinions.

  • andrew27994 on May 30, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Though SA look the best team on paper they will have to do without their best player Jacques Kallis. Kallis added a lot of value to the side and was a viable 6th bowling option when SA needed.. If they are going to going to get to the finals at least, they will need most of their players, especially the bowlers to contribute for the team. If one of the bowlers struggles then the only other bowler available is Duminy. So this is a problem they have to avoid throughout the tournament.

  • on June 2, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    SA cannot win since they do not have versatile players except Ab De Villiers. South African cricket is known for producing 'robot' like cricketers who cannot cope up when confronted with outstanding flair. That is the reason they often fail in ODIs , where a few overs of mayhem of subcontinental or West Indian flair would be enough to floor them. In tests they can always play the waiting game but in the shorter versions they have choked more often than not and my fear is that this time too it will be the same.

  • Harmony111 on June 2, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    @George Matt: You are mentioning one series or one title here and there while I am talking about the whole career stats. If I too were to use the same logic as yours then forget about what Kallis has done in the last 3-4 years, his latest stats for IPL 2013 are a SR of 96 - in T20 matches !!!

    I don't need to say anything else.

  • on June 2, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    South Africa won the ICC knock out trophy..Kallis was the man of the match of the semi final+final and also the man of the tournament... South Africa won in India in 2000,Kallis was the player of the series South Africa won in Pakistan in 2007,Kallis was the man of the match in both tests and also the man of the series...I think to win in subcontinent is the pinnacle of glory for non-asian teams and Kallis lead South Africa's victory in those two series...Add the fact that South Africa have won only one major trophy and that too due to Kallis just explains his value..his strike rate was low in his early years because his job was to make sure that the team bats 50 overs,because South Africa has always had an unstable and shaky middle order,check out his numbers in last 3-4 years, now he knows that there are guys like Amla,Ab who can take responsibility,so he often plays aggresively...honestly people should get a life,dunno for what reason they keep blaming Kallis

  • Harmony111 on June 1, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    @Keith Waters: I ran out of words when I mentioned that WC 07 match. My point was that even in an extremely crucial match Kallis batted with no sense of purpose. In this years IPL too (as in the prev ones), Kallis was responsible on many occasions to kill KKR's momentum. SRT too was criticized for batting slowly even though his SR was ~125 so think about Kallis whose SR this time was 96 !!!

    Moreover, I DID NOT pick one bad performance and generalized it for Kallis. I'd also said that his overall SR of 72 was poor and used that as my basis, pls read again.

    Btw, I like Kallis. This all began when GG used JK's CT stats to rebut what SamRoy had said about Kalli's overall ODI career. That's it.

    Reg Bevan, I really had no idea his SR was 74. Sounds imp. I think there may be some reasons, may be he had a very poor initial few years or he used to have several failures inter alia a few good knocks and ppl used to see from maxima to maxima.

    Ref your 16:50 comment - See my 12:34 comment.

  • on June 1, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    Kallis is original TUK TUK.He was instrumental in famous chokes because he is too slow.1999 World Cup Semi final,Champions trophy 2002 Semi Final,2003 world cup game againt Srilanka,2009 T20 Semi Final against Pakistan are prime examples.Even in the record 434 game his slow approach increased the run rate to quite an extent.

  • on June 1, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    @Harmony111 taking one of Kallis's games and using that to support an argument that he is a bad player is pointless thats like someone taking Bradman'ss last innings and suggesting the guy couldnt bat!

    Why not look at the fact that he has the same amount of Man of the Matches as ricky ponting (3rd on the list) in 54 games less!

    Michael Bevan had a SR of 74 are you saying that he was a poor ODI batsmen?

    Kallis is a fantastic player and there is no team in world cricket at the moment who would say no thanks Kallis we don't require your services!

  • Harmony111 on June 1, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    @Greatest_Game: Wow, you are an expert at missing the point. Your reply to SamRoy was just as misplaced as your new reply to my comment.

    Your so called rebuttal suffers from the fallacy of thinking that co-relation implies causation. Just because Kallis has played X matches out of SA's total Z matches and something has been observed in those X matches via-a-vis the Z-X matches, it does not NECESSARILY mean that Kallis was the factor behind that observed phenomenon.

    To see how much has Kallis contributed in this observed phenomena of SA's better W/L ratio, we need to look into Kallis's performance itself. Regarding that, I had already given the most damning piece of stat - his abysmal SR in ODIs.

    Anyone who scores at ~72 in ODI has to be called a poor batsman. Cynical ones will call it selfish batting or "batting unaware".

    Rem WC 2007 SF vs Aus? Who ate the momentum of SA's fab chase?

    Sorry GG, your "enough" rebuttal was invalid from the outset, let alone being enough.

  • on June 1, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @Greatest Game, do you not think that South Africa has underachieved at ODI level over the last 6-7 years? Fair enough before that Aus had two all time great bowlers who could defend anything but since then i'd have thought SA might have done a little better?

    For mine the West Indies and SL are real dark horses in this tourney, both teams have some good seam bowling allrounders that can hit the ball, strength in this area will be key, I think. Matthews, Perera, Bravo, Sammy look tailor made for this tourney.

  • Greatest_Game on May 31, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    @ SamRoy wrote "If Kallis plays SA won't win anything ... he contributes more to losing matches than winning them."

    SA won the 1st Champions Trophy, 1998/99, & Jacques Kallis scored an undefeated 113* off 100 balls, took 5 for 30 (only tournament 5 for,) won Player of the Match in the semi-finals, Player of the Match in the Finals, & Player of the series.

    His records:

    Batting: 2nd most runs (164) at 3rd highest average (82,) 2nd highest score (130*) with Wallace most tournament sixes (6,) most sixes in an innings (5.)

    Bowling: most wickets (8,) best figs in an inngs (5 for 30,) 2nd best ave (14,) best tournament strike rate (16.1), 2nd best strike rate in an inngs (9.)

    Today, on cricinfo Statistics Home Page, the leading entry is "Number Crunching." It reads: 1 - Jacques Kallis is the only player to have scored a century and taken a five-wicket haul in the Champions Trophy.

    Records show Kallis still holds Championship Trophy records. You hold only inexplicably flawed opinions.

  • andrew27994 on May 30, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Though SA look the best team on paper they will have to do without their best player Jacques Kallis. Kallis added a lot of value to the side and was a viable 6th bowling option when SA needed.. If they are going to going to get to the finals at least, they will need most of their players, especially the bowlers to contribute for the team. If one of the bowlers struggles then the only other bowler available is Duminy. So this is a problem they have to avoid throughout the tournament.

  • on June 2, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    SA cannot win since they do not have versatile players except Ab De Villiers. South African cricket is known for producing 'robot' like cricketers who cannot cope up when confronted with outstanding flair. That is the reason they often fail in ODIs , where a few overs of mayhem of subcontinental or West Indian flair would be enough to floor them. In tests they can always play the waiting game but in the shorter versions they have choked more often than not and my fear is that this time too it will be the same.

  • Harmony111 on June 2, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    @George Matt: You are mentioning one series or one title here and there while I am talking about the whole career stats. If I too were to use the same logic as yours then forget about what Kallis has done in the last 3-4 years, his latest stats for IPL 2013 are a SR of 96 - in T20 matches !!!

    I don't need to say anything else.

  • on June 2, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    South Africa won the ICC knock out trophy..Kallis was the man of the match of the semi final+final and also the man of the tournament... South Africa won in India in 2000,Kallis was the player of the series South Africa won in Pakistan in 2007,Kallis was the man of the match in both tests and also the man of the series...I think to win in subcontinent is the pinnacle of glory for non-asian teams and Kallis lead South Africa's victory in those two series...Add the fact that South Africa have won only one major trophy and that too due to Kallis just explains his value..his strike rate was low in his early years because his job was to make sure that the team bats 50 overs,because South Africa has always had an unstable and shaky middle order,check out his numbers in last 3-4 years, now he knows that there are guys like Amla,Ab who can take responsibility,so he often plays aggresively...honestly people should get a life,dunno for what reason they keep blaming Kallis

  • Harmony111 on June 1, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    @Keith Waters: I ran out of words when I mentioned that WC 07 match. My point was that even in an extremely crucial match Kallis batted with no sense of purpose. In this years IPL too (as in the prev ones), Kallis was responsible on many occasions to kill KKR's momentum. SRT too was criticized for batting slowly even though his SR was ~125 so think about Kallis whose SR this time was 96 !!!

    Moreover, I DID NOT pick one bad performance and generalized it for Kallis. I'd also said that his overall SR of 72 was poor and used that as my basis, pls read again.

    Btw, I like Kallis. This all began when GG used JK's CT stats to rebut what SamRoy had said about Kalli's overall ODI career. That's it.

    Reg Bevan, I really had no idea his SR was 74. Sounds imp. I think there may be some reasons, may be he had a very poor initial few years or he used to have several failures inter alia a few good knocks and ppl used to see from maxima to maxima.

    Ref your 16:50 comment - See my 12:34 comment.

  • on June 1, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    Kallis is original TUK TUK.He was instrumental in famous chokes because he is too slow.1999 World Cup Semi final,Champions trophy 2002 Semi Final,2003 world cup game againt Srilanka,2009 T20 Semi Final against Pakistan are prime examples.Even in the record 434 game his slow approach increased the run rate to quite an extent.

  • on June 1, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    @Harmony111 taking one of Kallis's games and using that to support an argument that he is a bad player is pointless thats like someone taking Bradman'ss last innings and suggesting the guy couldnt bat!

    Why not look at the fact that he has the same amount of Man of the Matches as ricky ponting (3rd on the list) in 54 games less!

    Michael Bevan had a SR of 74 are you saying that he was a poor ODI batsmen?

    Kallis is a fantastic player and there is no team in world cricket at the moment who would say no thanks Kallis we don't require your services!

  • Harmony111 on June 1, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    @Greatest_Game: Wow, you are an expert at missing the point. Your reply to SamRoy was just as misplaced as your new reply to my comment.

    Your so called rebuttal suffers from the fallacy of thinking that co-relation implies causation. Just because Kallis has played X matches out of SA's total Z matches and something has been observed in those X matches via-a-vis the Z-X matches, it does not NECESSARILY mean that Kallis was the factor behind that observed phenomenon.

    To see how much has Kallis contributed in this observed phenomena of SA's better W/L ratio, we need to look into Kallis's performance itself. Regarding that, I had already given the most damning piece of stat - his abysmal SR in ODIs.

    Anyone who scores at ~72 in ODI has to be called a poor batsman. Cynical ones will call it selfish batting or "batting unaware".

    Rem WC 2007 SF vs Aus? Who ate the momentum of SA's fab chase?

    Sorry GG, your "enough" rebuttal was invalid from the outset, let alone being enough.

  • on June 1, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @Greatest Game, do you not think that South Africa has underachieved at ODI level over the last 6-7 years? Fair enough before that Aus had two all time great bowlers who could defend anything but since then i'd have thought SA might have done a little better?

    For mine the West Indies and SL are real dark horses in this tourney, both teams have some good seam bowling allrounders that can hit the ball, strength in this area will be key, I think. Matthews, Perera, Bravo, Sammy look tailor made for this tourney.

  • Greatest_Game on May 31, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    Cricinfo: Responding to a featured comment, poster Harmony111 requested stats re Kallis' full ODI record. Please publish for him.

    @ Harmony111 wrote, "SamRoy talked of Kalli's agg ODI figures and you think all that can be rebutted by using just his CT record?" (Harmony refers to a claim that Kallis "contributes more to losing matches than winning them.")

    SA's ODI win/loss ratio is 1.81. With Kallis the W/L is 2.11, the average (runs per wicket) rises from 34.98 to 35.06, & RPO (runs per over) rises from 4.98 to 5.06. With Kallis, more runs per wicket & per over.

    The important stat is win/loss ratio: SA Total ODI: won 300, lost 165, W/L ratio 1.818 SA with Kallis: won 205, lost 97, W/L ratio 2.113 Without Kallis: won 95, lost 68, W/L ratio 1.397

    With Kallis SA lost 30.78% of ODIs & without him lost 41.21%. SA wins 10.41% more games when Kallis plays! SamRoy is incorrect. Kallis contributes significantly to SA wins.

    Is this a complete enough rebuttal of SamRoy's claim?

  • Greatest_Game on May 31, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    Cricinfo: Poster Harmony111 requested this information. Please publish for him.

    @ Harmony111 wrote, "SamRoy talked of Kalli's agg ODI figures and you think all that can be rebutted by using just his CT record?" (Harmony 111 refers to the claim that Kallis "contributes more to losing matches than winning them.")

    SA's ODI win/loss ratio is 1.81. With Kallis it is 2.11; the average (runs per wicket) rises from 34.98 to 35.06, & RPO (runs per over) rises from 4.98 to 5.06. With Kallis, MORE runs per wicket & per over.

    The important stat is win/loss ratio: SA Total ODI: won 300, lost 165, W/L ratio 1.818 SA with Kallis: won 205, lost 97, W/L ratio 2.113 Without Kallis: won 95, lost 68, W/L ratio 1.397

    With Kallis SA lost 30.78% & without him lost 41.21%. SA wins 10.41% more games when Kallis plays! SamRoy is WRONG. Kallis contributes significantly to SA WINS.

    SamRoy should check records BEFORE making false claims that slander cricket greats. His actions demean the man & the game

  • Greatest_Game on May 31, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    @ GRVJPR. Did you not notice that Steyn & Morkel did not play? Do you not look at the scorecard before you post your comments?

    You also stated that you have been "Hearing from last 20 years that south africa will win this trophy and they have this magical attack , the best allrounder etc etc.. But they always choke.."

    In the above article, Firdose Moonda states that, to quote her words, SA "captured the inaugural Champions Trophy." That means that SA HAVE ALREADY WON THIS TROPHY. Also, the tournament has been in existence since 1998. That is 15 years ago, so you could not have been, as you wrote, "Hearing from last 20 years that south africa will win this trophy."

    Despite the evidence in front of you, you make inaccurate statements and false claims. This is puzzling. Why do you ignore the truth? Is your aim to hurl insults & not to engage in reasoned conversation? I truly hope this is not so. Please reply. I believe many, like myself, will be interested to hear your answer.

  • on May 31, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    This tournament is pretty open I would suggest think that Aus, Eng, SA and New Zealand have a very good chance of winning this, I reckon New Zealand is definitely worth a punt for a tenner.

    But could someone please help me understand why when SA loses it is a "choke" but when other nations lose its not? Since 98 Only Australia had won more than one 50 Over international trophy although courtesy off a split trophy in 2002 and India's recent WC 2011 triumph has India now won 2, with New Zealand WI's, Sri Lanka and SA sharing 1 apiece how come SA are the Chokers? they have a better record than Pakistan and England and equal to Sri Lanka, New Zealand and WI's, yet only SA choke ????

  • on May 31, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    JP we missed you so much as SRH fans :(

  • GRVJPR on May 31, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    So neteherlands have score more than 230 runs, What will happen if top teams score around 250 vs south africa. They might choke again chasing.

  • GRVJPR on May 31, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    @Nav Rattan Singh Completely agree with you. Hearing from last 20 years that south africa will win this trophy and they have this magical attack , the best allrounder etc etc.. But they always choke.

  • on May 31, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    they are well known as chokers. So why should it be different this time. they will certainly choke at the crucial moment

  • on May 31, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Plz Plz Plz Give David Miller A chance ....

  • on May 31, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    I don't really see how South Africa are winning it with this squad, the bowling just isn't there. Steyn is world class, obviously but Morkel can go for runs when its not his day and the others are only of average standard. Their allrounders too, possess no great abilities with the ball, i think most opposition teams will be able to feast on their fourth and fifth bowling options. Batting looks pretty strong though and perhaps they can run down most totals that get put up against them.

  • Harmony111 on May 31, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    @Mayan820: Losing a match by 90 runs or by 7 wickets won't be called choking. Choking means the morsel that was in the throat caused a severe problem in breathing rather than going smoothly in the tummy. i.e so close to be digested yet ultimately causing a lot of trauma.

    The WC 1992 SF loss vs Eng was not choking and neither was the WC 1996 loss to WI in QF. They were losses that happened due to stupid laws and the genius of a man called Lara. However, the WC 1999 SF tie (still a loss) was a def choke. 1stly, SA ought to have chased a mere 207 (I think it was) and then in the last over they failed to score that 1 run. The manner of that run out showed a loss of focus & understanding of reality.

    The 03 WC tie vs SL MAY BE called a choke as the mgt failed to pass proper info. The 07 WC SF loss was not a choke. Aus were too good. The '11 WC loss to Eng was a def choke as was the loss to NZ in QF.

    Btw, Pak choked in the WC SF too.

  • on May 31, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    MISSING KALLIS A LOT... Hope to see him comeback @ the earliest in all form of game.

  • on May 31, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    @Mayan Mansilu thank you for giving me a very good hearty laugh this morning with that comment - "2 out of three Asian nations will make the final!" really? in England during a wet summer? id be very surprised if any Asian sides made it out of the group stages. Hopefully its the Saffa's but if they "choke" then hopefully New Zealand or the Windies please not the Aussies they've won more than enough!!!

  • GRVJPR on May 31, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    Get Amala and De villers early and let me see how south africa can cross 250 in any match. Way to depended on Dale Steyn. Other bowlers look world class only in South Africa doctored pitches.

  • KallisTheGreatest on May 31, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    Proteas will miss Kallis's experience badly in Champions Trophy...

  • westindiesupporter on May 31, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    I have a feeling that New Zealand will win but I want West Indies to win .

  • Narbavi on May 31, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    @SamRoy: Kallis plays for statistics? now that's a new one, sharpen your cricketing knowledge because you are making hasty remarks about the greatest cricketer ever!!

  • ADARSH100 on May 31, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    My 11 for SA is 1) Amla 2) Alviro 3) Duminy 4) Ingram 5) de Villiers 6) Miller 7) duPlessis 8) Steyn 9) Morne 10) McLaren 11)Phangiso.

  • Harmony111 on May 31, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    @Greatest_Game: I hold nothing against Kallis but if you are talking of facts and stats then for one SamRoy talked of Kalli's agg ODI figures and you think all that can be rebutted by using just his CT record?

    Secondly, when Sachin scored his 100th Intl 100 vs BD in the last Asia Cup, his SR was ~77 and everyone criticized him for batting selfishly & slowly and preventing the innings form getting any momentum. Keep in mind that in that same innings, India's best batsman *& among World's best) Virat Kohli scored a 50 but only at a SR of ~80.

    Point is that Sachin was called selfish for batting at ~77 SR even when the best batsman scored at around the same SR. Just one knock, just one and so much criticism with no thought being given to pitch & conditions.

    Kallis's career SR in ODIs is ~72-73. You decide.

  • Greatest_Game on May 31, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    fanta_panda wrote "This is South Africa's best chance to win a major ICC trophy yet." @ Muffinn Arman wrote "I dont remember (SA) winning any major championships at all!!

    Reading the above article one can clearly see that Firdose Moonda states that, to quote her words, SA "captured the inaugural Champions Trophy." As some have somehow missed this important piece of information contained in only the second sentence, it may help for me to rephrase it: SOUTH AFRICA WON THE FIRST CHAMPIONS TROPHY, A MAJOR ICC TOURNAMENT.

    I believe that should clear up any confusion about SA's ICC Trophy Record. I find that it is useful to read more than the 1st sentence of a cricinfo article. There is always helpful information to follow. In this case, the 2nd sentence clearly demonstrates this, as in it Firdose makes sure to provide this important context to her report.

  • Harmony111 on May 31, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    I have a feeling SA might do it this time. They do have the resources to do it (but sadly this has been true in all the ICC tournaments they have played over the years). If SA do win this one then it would be a nice thing cos SA had won the 1st one and the last one too.

    Having said that, is ABD does not remember that ICC CT is the only ICC title SA have won then it is a sad reflection of the value CT carries. It is esp shocking to see it coming from SA cos they have otherwise not won any other ICC Cups and so they ought to value more what they've got. Like I said, this is more a case of CT not being seen as valuable enough than ABD's history knowledge.

    So in a way it is good that ICC decided to get rid of this CT which was neither here nor there though I would say that CT could have become a lot more cherished a cup had it been marketed and formatted in a slimmer manner for eg letting only the top 4-5 teams compete in a RR way (or something).

    If SA win I won't be surprised.

  • realfan on May 31, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    @MasterMindGupta no kallis for CT... apart from that i agree every word with you.... waiting for INDIA - SA and INDIA-PAK...go india...

  • djdrastic on May 31, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    Rather underpromise and overdeliver rather than doing the usual saffer thing Abe.I predict we'll clean the round robin stages and get stuck in a quarter or semi final again like we usually do.

  • Greatest_Game on May 31, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    @ Jonathan October. Firdose Moonda wrote, "AB de Villiers has predicted a stream of South African success at major tournaments, which he hopes will start next month." What AB de Villiers ACTUALLY said was "I've got a feeling there are a few to come in the next few years." He said nothing about THIS tournament, but Firdose Moonda did. What AB said is not mouthing off, and he did no bragging.

    If you had closely read the article, you would have seen that he did not say this in an interview with Moonda, but rather with a Dutch Radio Station. Perhaps you should more carefully read these reports, and be sure that you know the facts before you "mouth off?"

  • Greatest_Game on May 31, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    @ mukesh_LOVE.cricket wrote "(SA) are ... a good ODI side, nothing exceptional" & Mayan Mansilu, wrote "SA side is not actually all that strong as lots of people think." Hmmm ... let's see what the records say?

    The most successful countries in ODIs are SA & Aus. They have, as of today, May 30, EXACTLY the same win/loss ratio of 1.81. But, SA has a higher win percentage, 62,5 to Aus' 62.189 (Aus drew more,) SA's ave runs-per-wicket is higher, 34.98 to 33.8, & runs-per -over rate is better 4.95 to 4.88. Statistics show SA is the MOST SUCCESSFUL ODI TEAM IN HISTORY.

    mukesh_LOVE.cricket & Mayan Mansilu are wrong & know little about cricket's records.

    SOME FACTS: SL lost more games than won; played 204 more than SA, won only 19 more. Eng played 111 more, won 10 LESS. India played 327 more, won only 105 more.

    Afghanistan has the 3rd BEST win/loss ratio!

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;orderby=win_loss_ratio;template=results;type=team

  • MasterMindGupta on May 31, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    1) SA success in ODI is unlikely. They bank mainly on AB De Villers & Amla for their batting to fire. Kallis seems a spent force with the bat now; although he is still good with the ball. Duminy will be crucial for SA success.

    2) Ind vs SA contest would be a nail-biting one. Indian top order Vijay, Dhawan & Kohli are in form & so is Steyn & Morkel. It would be a keen tussle. Also, MSD & Raina towards the end could be dangerous if India manage to play to its plan of preserving wickets for the last 15 overs. Thats why Kallis could be a key bowler for SA to provide middle overs wickets.

    3) Ashwin & Bhuvi would be key bowlers for India. If Bhuvi strikes early, then pressure will be there on Amla & AB. Ashwin has to provide wickets in the middle overs as he along with Jadeja would be the spin option.

    4) If India play Rohit Sharma, then, game could well be lost before start for India. MSD has made it clear that he will go with 5 bowlers. In that case, Dinesh Karthick seems a stable bat.

  • on May 31, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    All South-African supporters know that when our Captain start mouthing off about silverware that we will win, we win nothing. There is no point putting pressure on yourself when you know what the expectations are to win a trophy. Keep quiet and do your job. When you a trophy, then you have bragging rights!

  • realfan on May 31, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    SA are the favorites here, considering the form its players are in AB, STYNE, AMLA, MORKEl, return of Duminy..... i hope they dont choke in this trophy.......

  • Jayzuz on May 31, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    Probably best not to make too many predictions for this comp, especially when SA have bombed out so many times in the past. It's quite an open field at this stage. I am biased of course, but I think Australia actually have a pretty good team in the making there. Strike bowlers, good allrounders, plenty of powerful batsmen and steady middle order, great fielders... We'll see what happens.

  • mrcricket300 on May 31, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    South Africa and New Zealand are the only strong nations to never win the World Cup. I love to see them win it at some point.

    Winning Champions Trophy doesn't mean anything though. It is a worthless tournament.

  • fanta_panda on May 31, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    This is South Africa's best chance to win a major ICC trophy yet ... I know that choker tag is being thrown about again (especially in these comment forums), but I am wondering if this actually applies anymore. ODI cricket is very competitive at the moment and South Africa is nowhere near the top of the pile right now. But this is something that might work in their favour.

    South Africa has made huge leaps under Gary Kirsten and I suspect that the fear of failure is disappearing with every match they play. If they lose in a manner which suggests they were not the better team on the day, it is not a train smash. All SA supporters can hope for now is not losing when the win is within the Protea's grasp. As I said, this is their best chance to prove they are the new powerhouse of world cricket ... Considering this is Gary's last month with the team, they certainly have something to play for.

    Prediction: SA to go all the way, beating India in the final.

  • on May 31, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    I'm not surprise AB forgot. That tournament only had 7 main pool matches + a pre tournament qualifier and it was done and dusted in 8 days! That was a format that kept you on the edge of your seats... 15 matches 18 days this time? Not every game is a knock out - which I liked in that first iteration.

  • on May 31, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    Really good, exciting side. Regardless of their "chokers" tag, which AB admitted, they are definitely one of the favourites. I still don't know how they managed to lose that World T20 Cup group game against Pakistan, when they had them eight down or something like that. It was Kallis' two short balls to Gul that lost it and them a chance at the trophy. Bizarre how these things have afflicted them in the past.

  • on May 30, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    I predict a complete choke, yes they are a great side but i bet they will choke some how!

  • gsingh7 on May 30, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    i predict another choke from sa. in recent t20 wc group stage they choked 3 times and there were only 3 matches for them in that group(india, aus and pak). expect similar 3 chokes in this tournament as well.

  • Greatest_Game on May 30, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    I like Firdose's writing. It shows excitement & passion for cricket, but her passion may have led her to misread de Villiers' statement "I've got a feeling there are a few to come in the next few years." A 'few" means a small or limited number, not many, etc., yet Firdose wrote, "AB de Villiers has PREDICTED A STREAM of South African success at major tournaments." A few is NOT a stream. Similarly, AB's FEELING is not a PREDICTION.

    Misinterpretation has consequences: @ Cpt.Meanster wrote, "I think De Villiers is talking too early…. I am taking (his) words with a pinch of salt." Cpt. Meanster is really taking Firdose's words with a pinch of salt.

    In a Dutch radio station interview, AB spoke of his "feeling (of) a few to come in the next few years," & made no prediction of victory in THIS tournament. His "feeling" is that SA's test success will help reduce anxiety/performance stress (choking) & lead to better outcomes in ICC Cup games. Fair enough?

    Cricinfo: fair comment please publish

  • samincolumbia on May 30, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    @Front foot Lunge - Good excuse to pre-empt comments that England can never win a major multi nation tournament. If England do not care about ODI tournaments, why are the Champions trophy and the 2019 World Cup being held there? They should go to a more deserving nation. SA is man enough to admit that they choke, unlike english fans who are living in denial that they don't win anything, because their team does not care.

  • on May 30, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    It's not a question of - if South Africa will choke; it's a question of when will they choke? Would it be in the group stage, or, in the semis? Or, will they wait 'till they get to the finals before they break their fan's hearts, yet again. ALAS! So much talent, and so little to show for it. Make it easy for your fans this time S.A. Leave, in the group stage, take an early exit!

  • thenoostar on May 30, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    I predict a choke.They always manage to find a way to lose.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 30, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    Would be good to see de villiers get some exciting runs. England certainly aren't favorites by any stretch. They care little about ODI's, although they did whitewash Australia last year, and are focusing on the Ashes as you'd expect. They've always seen tests as the main focus, which given that it's the accepted pinnacle of the sport you can;t blame them. They would love some silverware though. But I doubt they will risk their bowlers much.

  • Captainman on May 30, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    The only 'major' African country that plays "full time" Cricket. Very unpopular sport Cricket. Needs to globalize like all other sports before it becomes just a subcontinent sport :)

  • InnocentGuy on May 30, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    ABdeV, we have all had a feeling that there's some silverware to come. It's just that it's remained a feeling all this while. We want that feeling to go away and turn into reality instead.

  • GermanPlayer on May 30, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    Isn't it the SriLankan team that are the chokers? Losing the WC semifinal in the 2003 WC and the finals of the next two WCs? Or for that matter the English who have lost 3 semi finals and have just one icc trophy to boast of, just like SA?

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on May 30, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    SA would have blasted through India and WI if it was a test match in England , unfortunately for them its not test and they are at the best a good ODI side, nothing exceptional. but i agree AB devillers is a class act and would walk into any odi team in the world

  • Cpt.Meanster on May 30, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    I think De Villiers is talking too early. SA have always choked and I am expecting more of the same this time around. The only way they can prove otherwise is to actually get out there and win something. Until that happens, I am taking De Villiers' words with a pinch of salt.

  • samincolumbia on May 30, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    SA are the #1 test team by a long mile, but India are the ODI world champs and #1 in one day rankings too...Not many nations could boast that. Australia was probably the only nation other than India who held that record. India is more deserving of the CT silverware than SA in that regard. I am not going to bring up the records (or lack thereof) of second tier nations in this tournament.

  • rsnCricketCrazy on May 30, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    All the best and luck for the Proteas. Hopefully, this time at least they should shed their infamous "c" tag from them and come out triumph.

  • Midonoff on May 30, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    I think South Africa going to find it very, very difficult in there group. West Indies and India no easy teams. Good luck anyway.

  • Sameer-hbk on May 30, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    It's England. There will be rain. There will be D/L. And as always, there will be SA at the wrong end of some weird equation...

  • kevepere on May 30, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    I dont know about the champions trophy. But SA deserves a WC , only thing is there spinning department is not as good as some other countries. the best in form out of Johan Botha and peterson should play

  • on May 30, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    I really want them to not choke this time! I have been a huge fan of South African cricket for many years and am waiting for them to win a big tournament for a long, long time. This SA team is strong, but the team will surely miss Kallis and Smith, especially the former. They can win, but the "choking" problem is always there. We can only wait and see if things turn out to be different for the Proteas in this tournament.

  • Mayan820 on May 30, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    As a Protea supporter I am now so utterly fed-up with this blistering nonsense of the Protea players being labelled as "chokers". The truth of the matter is that THE PLAYERS OF EVERY SINGLE INTERNATIONAL CRICKET TEAM WILL, SO CALLED, "CHOKE" IF THEIR TEAM IS PUT UNDER ENOUGH PRESSURE! Just before anyone says the Ausies won't, let me quickly remind such a one how ONE Protea player by the name of Faffa du Plessis caused the entire Ausie test squad to crack up so badly in that Adelaide test, last year, that the "wood chopper" fell down on the pitch in utter exhaustion and the rest of the Australian squad cracked up so badly that the Proteas literally blew them away in the Perth test, without much resistance. The Proteas have had more than their fair share of rotten luck. As A.B said, the time for things to change, yesterday, is more than due . . .

  • on May 30, 2013, 17:57 GMT

    oh yes AB i remember u said same thing last time around too just to get knocked out in group stage, and current SA side is not actually all that strong as lots of people think, SA my fifth favorite side to win this time, and 2 of 3 Asian teams will make final

  • surajporeddy on May 30, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    Underestimating India and WestIndies, you haven't won any major tournament so far.Proteas consistently fail at main exams

  • on May 30, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    They are going to choke! agian!

  • on May 30, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    South Africans have always been the Ace of cricket for years. However, its sad that they always choke or become very unlucky right before winning any major title. Decades, this has been happening to them. Its very weird. I dont remember them winning any major championships at all!! Yes they win series and always are on top and etc. but Tournament NEVER!! i really wish them the best along with NZ.

  • SamRoy on May 30, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    If Kallis plays SA won't win anything (except test matches). In limited overs cricket I find Kallis an amazingly selfish cricketer (even more than Tendulkar) who seems to play for his statistical averages. It shouldn't have been that way as Kallis had more ability than any modern day cricketer but it panned out that way. Apart from test cricket (where is the best overall cricketer in the last 25 years) he contributes more to losing matches than winning them.

  • on May 30, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    Great team in papers as usual.. time to remove the chokers tag guys, you are of course the favorites along with England themselves..go SA!!

  • Lloydster on May 30, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    The Proteas have the monkey on their backs (chokers) which will be hard to shrug off and the pressure will take its toll. Same old same old I'm afraid, hopefully the corner has turned now that Smith is not in the mix.

  • Narbavi on May 30, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    One of the favourites, as usual de villiers and Amla hold the key, Duminy's return is massive but has to be seen how he plays after a long lay off, miller has played in england before and he is deadly in the death overs alongside someone like faf, the bowling department looks damn good as usual,

  • Narbavi on May 30, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    One of the favourites, as usual de villiers and Amla hold the key, Duminy's return is massive but has to be seen how he plays after a long lay off, miller has played in england before and he is deadly in the death overs alongside someone like faf, the bowling department looks damn good as usual,

  • Lloydster on May 30, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    The Proteas have the monkey on their backs (chokers) which will be hard to shrug off and the pressure will take its toll. Same old same old I'm afraid, hopefully the corner has turned now that Smith is not in the mix.

  • on May 30, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    Great team in papers as usual.. time to remove the chokers tag guys, you are of course the favorites along with England themselves..go SA!!

  • SamRoy on May 30, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    If Kallis plays SA won't win anything (except test matches). In limited overs cricket I find Kallis an amazingly selfish cricketer (even more than Tendulkar) who seems to play for his statistical averages. It shouldn't have been that way as Kallis had more ability than any modern day cricketer but it panned out that way. Apart from test cricket (where is the best overall cricketer in the last 25 years) he contributes more to losing matches than winning them.

  • on May 30, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    South Africans have always been the Ace of cricket for years. However, its sad that they always choke or become very unlucky right before winning any major title. Decades, this has been happening to them. Its very weird. I dont remember them winning any major championships at all!! Yes they win series and always are on top and etc. but Tournament NEVER!! i really wish them the best along with NZ.

  • on May 30, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    They are going to choke! agian!

  • surajporeddy on May 30, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    Underestimating India and WestIndies, you haven't won any major tournament so far.Proteas consistently fail at main exams

  • on May 30, 2013, 17:57 GMT

    oh yes AB i remember u said same thing last time around too just to get knocked out in group stage, and current SA side is not actually all that strong as lots of people think, SA my fifth favorite side to win this time, and 2 of 3 Asian teams will make final

  • Mayan820 on May 30, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    As a Protea supporter I am now so utterly fed-up with this blistering nonsense of the Protea players being labelled as "chokers". The truth of the matter is that THE PLAYERS OF EVERY SINGLE INTERNATIONAL CRICKET TEAM WILL, SO CALLED, "CHOKE" IF THEIR TEAM IS PUT UNDER ENOUGH PRESSURE! Just before anyone says the Ausies won't, let me quickly remind such a one how ONE Protea player by the name of Faffa du Plessis caused the entire Ausie test squad to crack up so badly in that Adelaide test, last year, that the "wood chopper" fell down on the pitch in utter exhaustion and the rest of the Australian squad cracked up so badly that the Proteas literally blew them away in the Perth test, without much resistance. The Proteas have had more than their fair share of rotten luck. As A.B said, the time for things to change, yesterday, is more than due . . .

  • on May 30, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    I really want them to not choke this time! I have been a huge fan of South African cricket for many years and am waiting for them to win a big tournament for a long, long time. This SA team is strong, but the team will surely miss Kallis and Smith, especially the former. They can win, but the "choking" problem is always there. We can only wait and see if things turn out to be different for the Proteas in this tournament.