We’ve got the players to win – De Villiers

2015-01-08 07:17

Proteas captain AB de Villiers believes his team have the firepower to bring the ICC Cricket World Cup title home.

The tournament, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, begins on February 14.

“We’ve got the right players to win the World Cup. It’s just now a matter of going there and finding a way to do so,” De Villiers said at the 15-man Proteas squad announcement in Cape Town yesterday.

“That’s always the difficult part, but we’re prepared to put in the hard yards. We are going there to bring the cup back.”

There was no place for Lions bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe who had been a standout performer in the domestic One-Day Cup so far this season.

Instead the Proteas chose to go with eight frontline batters and two all-rounders in JP Duminy and Wayne Parnell.

“We like to play seven batters, so it’s nice to have someone extra in case someone gets injured,” said convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson.

“We’re happy with eight frontline batters in the squad. There are going to be times when we play an all-rounder at seven which gives you five frontline bowlers.”

The Proteas have never won the World Cup and the last time they tasted success at a major tournament was the Champions Trophy in 1998.

Their lack of success in big events has led to questions about their mental strength, but De Villiers remained adamant that his charges could bring home silverware.

“We do feel pressure representing South Africa in the World Cup; we haven’t won one yet,” De Villiers said.

“We desperately want to win one. We’ve been playing some good cricket and we’re confident going to Australia that we have a really good chance to win this World Cup.”

Rilee Rossouw, who would provide cover opening the batting in the first two games for Quinton de Kock, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, was another notable inclusion in the final squad.

The left-handed Rossouw has already played nine ODIs for the Proteas, batting at number four five times, number three twice, seven on one occasion and opening once.

Rossouw’s inclusion meant there was no room for wicketkeeper batsman Morné van Wyk. That in effect, meant De Villiers would take the gloves if De Kock were unable to keep wicket.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo, however, was optimistic that De Kock could be ready earlier than anticipated and do duty in their opening game against Zimbabwe on February 15.

“It looks like Quinton is going to be okay. Hopefully in three or four weeks time he’ll start hitting some balls and be fit to play that first game against Zimbabwe,” Domingo said.

“If Quinton is not fully fit for the first two games of the World Cup we may have to look at a different opening batter.”

Parnell was included in the squad at the expense of Ryan McLaren in the all-rounder role.

The 25-year-old is the only left-handed quick bowler in the squad, and will add variety to the South African pace attack.

South Africa are in group B with Zimbabwe, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.

South Africa squad: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morné Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw and Dale Steyn.

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