• Kallis: SA the dark horse of this World Cup

    Former all-rounder Jacques Kallis has reiterated that not being among the favourites to win the title should improve South Africa’s chances at this year’s World Cup.

    The Proteas will head into the 2019 tournament in the United Kingdom on the back of four semi-final and one quarter-final exits across six previous campaigns.

    ‘It’s probably one of the first times they’ve gone into a tournament not widely expected to win it, which should relax the guys and allow them to play with freedom,’ Kallis wrote in a column for the International Cricket Council’s website.

    ‘To be clear, they are most definitely more than capable of winning this World Cup, though. They’ve got some world-class players, and when they do get it together and play some good cricket, they’re capable of beating anyone in the world. In a way they’re almost a dark horse side of this World Cup, and every team should be very wary of them.

    ‘Of course you’re aware of the “chokers” tag the team is labelled with after losing in four semi-finals, but I think the media make a bigger deal of South Africa not having won a World Cup than the players do.’

    Kallis is the most capped South African in World Cup cricket with 36 appearances. He scored 1148 runs and took 21 wickets at the global event between 1996 and 2011.

    ‘From a personal point of view, I never read too much media and maybe the outside noise affected one or two guys, but it certainly didn’t bother the majority of us,’ he added.

    ‘The players don’t worry too much about it. You realise that when you play international sport, if things don’t go well for you then you are going to catch some criticism – that’s fair enough.’

    England and South Africa will open the World Cup at The Oval in London on Thursday.

    Photo: Gallo Images

    Post by