DUBAI – Mark Boucher feels being underdogs at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 could help South Africa’s cause.
The former Proteas wicketkeeper, who played in three World Cups – including the last time it was held in England and Wales in 1999 – hopes going under the radar can help South Africa’s chances at next year’s tournament.
“People look at the team during every World Cup and on paper, we are a good team,” Boucher told the Dubai English newspaper Gulf News
But Boucher admitted the loss of AB De Villiers was a massive blow to South Africa’s hopes.
However, he added: “I think we are probably going into this World Cup, not at our best on paper, which could be a good thing. I think we are nowhere near the best team. But that is a good space because you go out there and surprise a few.
“If you get into the semifinal or final then anything can happen. One good innings can win the day for you, so consistently we have to be at our best to get to a semifinal stage; then who knows.”
South Africa are famously yet to reach a World Cup final, having been knocked out in the semifinal stage on four occasions.
It’s a statistic that has led to the side being labelled ‘chokers’, a tag which Boucher thinks is unjust.
"The batting is a bit of a worry and if you lose AB then you are losing a big player in the team – who is going to step into his position - that we don’t know yet?
“The choking word comes out all the time and I feel that’s unfair because to win a World Cup you also need a lot of luck to go your way,” he added.
“There are a lot of good teams playing in the world at the moment.”
African News Agency (ANA)