World Cup 2019: The C-Word, you mean the Cup?- Jonty Rhodes

first_imgTwenty seven years after the infamous rain rule was their undoing in the 1992 World Cup semi final, South Africa is yet to taste World Cup success. Back then in Australia, the tournament which marked their return to World Cup cricket from apartheid, the Proteas won a lot of hearts with their valiant fight.In every subsequent World Cup campaign, South Africa, despite having quality squads all along, have capitulated under pressure. So often that sympathy has turned into slagging. Choking’ if you like. A South African would know!”By the C-Word, you mean the Cup? No, I know the other word,” joked Jonty Rhodes when India Today ribbed him.Coach Ottis Gibson ‘no comments’ policy over the choking question is unlikely to comfort the dressing room for good.Jonty has lived around the choking chorus in three World Cups from 1992 to 1999 where they fell short in knockouts. Over the years on four occasions in World Cup semi-finals, twice agonizingly in last over finishes in 1999 and 2015, South Africa failed to hold their nerves.The only comforting thing this time in England 2019 is, minus AB de Villiers, South Africa are not carrying the burden of being tournament favourites.”They have got quite a young side. The concern for me from the South African point of view is they don’t know their best eleven yet. There was a discussion if Hashim Amla should even be picked which is hard to believe. He is such a leading performer and frontrunner for such a long time,” Jonty told India Today.advertisementDespite the presence of experienced campaigners like 36-year-old Hashim Amla, 40-year-old Imran Tahir and captain Faf Du plessis, the rest of the squad is young and not everyone is in red hot form.On second thoughts, fielding sensation Jonty says, being uncooked may only benefit South Africa. “Maybe it’s not a bad thing that they don’t know their best side because if you think that everything is settled and under control, cricket usually turns around to bite you on the backside. They know they have to scrap and fight and pull together. That might just be the answer we have been looking for, for a long time,” he said.Also Read | World Cup 2019: South Africa thrash Sri Lanka in warm-up matchAlso Read | What happened to India when England last hosted a World Cup 20 years ago?Also See:last_img

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