Former all-rounder Jacques Kallis has stated South Africa won’t be among the favourites to win the World Cup in the United Kingdom later this year.
The Proteas have infamously exited the global tournament at crucial stages, including 2015, 2007 and 1992’s semi-final defeats to New Zealand, Australia and England respectively.
In 1996 and 2011, they suffered quarter-final exits to the West Indies and New Zealand – and 1999’s tie with the Australians was not enough to book a berth in the final. A group-stage exit to Sri Lanka transpired in 2003.
‘I think this year the World Cup will be more open. The sides have to play good in the key moments,’ Kallis was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
‘I don’t think South Africa will be considered as a favourite, but sometimes when the pressure is less on you it can help. But you cannot write them off.
‘We probably go in as the least favourite that we have been. Sometimes it isn’t a bad thing.’
Kallis is the coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the upcoming Indian Premier League, where batsman Virat Kohli is the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kohli, too, will skipper India at the World Cup.
‘I don’t think Kohli will be under pressure at the World Cup. He has produced the goods time and time again. He is a world-class player and the guys follow what he does. He is certainly one of the best in the world,’ added Kallis.
‘I don’t know too much about the Indian cricket set-up, but I don’t think he is under too much pressure, to be honest.’