Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer


Australia tour: Can the Proteas fly under the radar into World Cup?

The end goal for the Proteas is the 50 overs World Cup in the sub-continent starting in October.


The Proteas ramp up their preparations for the 2023 ODI Cricket World Cup getting under way in India in early October, with the start of their multi-format incoming tour against Australia on Wednesday. The three match T20 series gets under way in Durban on Wednesday night, and although it’s not exactly the right preparation for the ODI World Cup, it will be a good warm-up for the side before they battle it out in a five match ODI series, also against Australia, starting next week Thursday. The Proteas are also resting a number of their best players for the T20I…

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The Proteas ramp up their preparations for the 2023 ODI Cricket World Cup getting under way in India in early October, with the start of their multi-format incoming tour against Australia on Wednesday.

The three match T20 series gets under way in Durban on Wednesday night, and although it’s not exactly the right preparation for the ODI World Cup, it will be a good warm-up for the side before they battle it out in a five match ODI series, also against Australia, starting next week Thursday.

The Proteas are also resting a number of their best players for the T20I series with Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje all getting a break before re-joining for the ODI series.

Little fanfare

The five ODIs against Australia are essentially the Proteas’ last chance to build-up some good momentum, with them then playing two warm-ups at the end of September and start of October against Afghanistan and New Zealand respectively before going into the showpiece event.

Very little fanfare is currently on the Proteas at the moment, with the eyes of the nation trained firmly on the Springboks who will begin the defence of their World Cup title in France from next weekend.

It is thus the perfect opportunity for the Proteas to try and fly under the radar and hopefully make a big splash at the ODI World Cup.

Chokers

The Proteas have for many years been accused of being chokers due to them going into World Cups as one of the favourites and then consistently under performing and not getting close to the title.

This year they will have no such problem as there will be very little expectations on them to make a play for the title, especially in the sub-continent where they have often struggled against spin over the years.

In their last three World Cup showings — 50 overs in 2019 and the T20s in 2021 and 2022 — they were unable to make it out of their pools and into the semis, with them being unceremoniously dumped out of last year’s competition by the Netherlands in a new low.

So will they be able to make use of the low expectations to upset the odds this time round? We will have to see.

But sports fans are a fickle bunch and should the Proteas pick up a big ODI series win over Australia in the coming weeks, it could spark renewed hope for fans going into the World Cup.

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