South Africa arrived at 2015 World Cup with the tag of favorites. But their unexpected first time World Cup defeats to India and Pakistan in Group B forced them lose two out of 6 matches they played. They finished second in the group behind India, but considering the past they may not regret. In 2011 World Cup, they won all the 6 matches at group but were knocked out in the quarterfinal. 2015 World Cup has been ruled by South African batsmen specially the duo of Amla and AB de Villiers, bowlers are still improving though. In the knockout, they do need some key improvements.
- 4 300+ team totals, joint highest with Sri Lanka.
20 6s by AB de Villiers has broken the record of maximum 18 6s (Hayden in 2007) in one edition.
36 6s overall in World Cup editions by AB de Villiers broke the record of 31 6s by Ponting.
2 400+ team total make them the only team to score two 400+ scores in World Cup matches.
5 centuries scored by 5 batsmen.
8 half-centuries scored by 5 batsmen.
417 in 6 games makes AB de Villiers their highest run scorer so far till Group Stage.
13 Wickets in 52.1 overs makes Morne Morkel the joint second most successful bowler when South Africa finished their group stage matches.
256 is their biggest ODI partnerships for any wicket in the World Cup.
6 100+ partnerships for South Africa, 3 against them.
Fastest 150 runs in ODI scored by AB de Villiers.
99 (vs UAE) makes AB de Villiers the third batsmen after Gilchrist and Duminy to get out just one short of century.
2.30 (vs UAE) & 2.58 (vs Pak) by Morne Morkel are their most economic bowling performance.
1/85 in 9 overs by Parnell vs India is their most expensive bowling.
16 maidens by South African bowlers is second best among teams in the tournament so far.
Results at Group Stage
- def Zimbabwe by 62 runs, MOM: David Miller (138*)
Score: South Africa 339/4 (50/50 ov); Zimbabwe 277 (48.2/50 ov) , MOM: David Miller (138*)
Lost to India by 130 runs
Score: Ind 307/7, SA 177 (40.2), MOM: Shikhar Dhawan (137)
def West Indies by 257 runs, MOM: AB de Villiers (66-ball 162 runs)
Score: SA 408/5, WI 151 (31), MOM: AB de Villiers (66-ball 162 runs)
def Ireland by 201 runs
Score: SA 411/4, Ire 210 (45), MOM: Hashim Amla (128-ball 159 runs)
Lost to Pakistan by 29 runs (D/L).
Score: Pak 222 (46.4), SA 202 (33.3), MOM: Sarfraz Ahmed (49 runs, 6 catches)
def United Arab Emirates by 146 runs
Score: SA 341/6 UAE 195 (47.3), MOM: AB de Villiers (99, 2/15).
Batting in 2015 World Cup
South African batting has been one of the best on paper. They proved it in the first match itself. The top two batsmen of the world AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla have continued their prolific form. Faf du Plessis, Miller, Rossouw have been consistent while Duminy has been useful with bat and ball both.
The team has more than one hard hitters. Besides AB de Villiers, Rossouw, Behardien, David Miller and Faf du Plessis have been successful.
Even this strong looking batting does have two concerns. First is the opening combination as Quinton de Kock has scored only 53 runs in 6 matches. Second one is the choking habit. Their batsmen have choked twice and lost, while even against Zimbabwe they do lose quick 4 wickets only to be taken to victory by record 5th wicket partnership between Miller and Duminy.
Bowling in 2015 World Cup
The bowlers have taken 54 wickets so far, yet it has been not as impressive. Steyn has been hit by almost all and is still struggling to get wickets. Morne Morkel has been their best in terms of wicket as well as economy. Imran Tahir has been a revelation but has not succeeded much in the last two matches. Philander’s return will be certainly helpful.
Their overall concern is lack of space for 5th bowler in the team. Not much destruction from Steyn and overall bowling not yet appearing to be match winning.
If Group A matches show predictable results then South Africa will lock horns with Sri Lanka in the quarterfinal on a batsmen-friendly Sydney ground. Considering the batting power strength South Africa does appear to be in a stronger position.