What the Proteas need to get right in World Cup semi-final against Australia

South Africa's Quinton de Kock gestures as he walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between South Africa and Bangladesh at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai

South Africa will need big contribution from Quinton de Kock once more, in their quest to make the men’s Cricket World Cup final for the first time. Picture: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP

Published Nov 16, 2023


On Thursday, South Africa continue their quest to make history at the Cricket World Cup in India as they face Australia in the second semi-final at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Play starts at 10.30am, SA time.

IOL Sport looked at three factors the Proteas need to nail down to get over the line against the five-time world champions.


Glenn Maxwell has been the backbone of the Australian batting unit in this World Cup.

His explosiveness in the middle order is a massive threat to any bowling attack, and in South Africa’s case, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi will be key in dealing with the right-hander in the middle overs.

Eden Gardens will offer a lot of spin, perhaps more than any other ground in India, and if the Proteas tweakers are able to keep Maxwell quiet and dismiss him early, then South Africa will have a good chance of booking a spot in the final in Ahmedabad on Sunday.


Quinton de Kock has been in fine form at this World Cup, leading the runs chart almost all tournament before Virat Kohli took the orange cap towards the end of the round-robin stage.

Top-order runs are crucial in Indian conditions, and the fact that whenever De Kock has scored big, South Africa have gone on to win the match proves just how important runs at the top of the order are in winning ODI games in India.

However, Temba Bavuma, if declared fit to play, will need to find a way to get back into the runs today.

It is a World Cup semi-final, and the team need their captain to lead from the front.


Teams who have had a major impact in this World Cup have made good use of the new ball, ensuring that they take wickets in the first powerplay.

The Indian fast bowlers have been exemplary throughout the tournament, with Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami being regular wicket-takers with the new ball.

Whether it will be Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada or Gerald Coetzee taking the first overs, the Proteas quicks will have to ensure that they are on the money from ball one to give the team a better chance of making it to their first World Cup final.