Dubai, November 5: I must admit, the Russell Domingo/Ashwell Prince factor had me a little nervous before South Africa took on Bangladesh on Tuesday.
The former Proteas coach and Proteas legend would’ve brought a lot of intel on the South Africans into Bangladesh camp. Plus, they are a side with nothing to lose, so it could’ve been a real danger game for South Africa.
The Abu Dhabi wicket suited South Africa perfectly. It had pace and bounce which played right into their hands.
Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje bowled beautifully, sounding out the conditions and using their aggression, and then Tabraiz Shamsi came on for his spell and put Bangladesh under lots of pressure.
The bowling attack is certainly the Proteas’ strength and I believe they can bowl us into the semi-finals.
It’s a must-win game for South Africa against England on Saturday but the West Indies v Australia is also going to have massive ramifications, with net run-rates potentially coming into play.
If South Africa’s top bowlers can fire, they can really rattle the England top order.
England have been playing fantastic cricket for the past couple of years. They’ve analysed the game exceptionally well and identified players who are specialists in fulfilling their roles.
Their backroom staff spend endless hours putting teams and match-ups together. They are not only a quality outfit on the field, but they are well organised; have done their homework and know all the teams’ strengths and weaknesses, which makes them very powerful.
South Africa can beat England. The Sharjah wicket will suit the Proteas and after winning a close game against Sr Lanka they will have a good understanding of conditions. The battle of the spinners, the Adil Rashid vs Tabraiz Shamsi match-up, is one to watch.
I feel that South Africa are flying under the radar this tournament. A lot of people said that without their household names in the XI they didn’t stand a chance.
But they are quietly playing good cricket and have dangerous batters that will step up. The likes of Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen ,and just look at David Miller the other night against Sri Lanka, hitting two back-to-back sixes to win it.
Mark Boucher is an organised coach and knows how to get the best out of his players when it matters most.
England will not be too relaxed even though they have virtually qualified, I don’t think you can afford to be relaxed in this ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and flirt with form. This has all the ingredients to be one of the games of the tournament.