South Africa

South Africa captain AB de Villiers

South Africa captain AB de Villiers Photo: Photosport

South Africa go into this World Cup again ranked among the favourites, but also seeking to finally rid themselves of the tag of chokers.

Currently ranked third on the international one-day rankings, they boast an array of players who can single-handedly turn a game.

Like New Zealand, they have never reached a final, but made the semi-finals three times in 1992, 1997 and 2007 with the chokers tag coming from the Proteas never having won a World Cup knock-out game.

When you consider the individual one day batting rankings however, it's easy to understand why they rate among the favourites.

Three South Africans are in the world top ten with A B de Villiers and Hashim Amla holding the top two spots.

De Villiers comes into the tournament in red hot form having cracked the fastest one day century in a recent game against the West Indies, needing only 31 balls to bring up three figures and ousting New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson as the fastest ODI century title holder.

The backbone of the South African batting order is Hashim Amla, who sits in second spot in the batting rankings while Quinton de Kock is in ninth spot.

Couple that with two bowlers in the top ten, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, and you may start to question just how anyone might pip the Proteas this time around... although history suggests otherwise.

Morne Morkel

Morne Morkel Photo: Photosport

Morne Morkel in full flight.

Key players: Captain and batsman A B de Villiers, opening batsman Hashim Amla, fast bowler Dale Steyn.

South Africa: A B de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn.

February 15th: South Africa vs Zimbabwe, Seddon Park, Hamilton.
February 22nd: South Africa vs India, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne.
February 27th: South Africa vs West Indies, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney.
March 3rd: South Africa vs Ireland, Manuka Oval, Canberra.
March 7th: South Africa vs Pakistan, Eden Park, Auckland.
March 12th: South Africa vs UAE, Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington.