x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Champions Trophy: South Africa key facts

Group B Dale Steyn is a modern great, there is no doubt, but what a curiously under-sketched ODI career he has had.

Key man - Dale Steyn

Steyn is a modern great, there is no doubt, but what a curiously under-sketched ODI career he has had. It is not that he has not been successful in the format; it is just that he has played so little of it. Nearly eight years after his first ODI, he has played only 72 and only now completed 100 wickets. It has been South Africa's policy to handle him that way, but he is so good, it is impossible not to see him making - or wanting to make - a major impact.

 

Why they will win it

Pick one reason from a number. A power-packed middle and lower order that never ends? Where, each wicket lost potentially increases the acceleration and brings in a harder-hitting batsman than the one just departed? Or maybe their excellence that can make the difference of 20-30 runs a game will have a final, decisive say? Failing all that, it may come down to the bowling and specifically that pace attack with Steyn, Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

 

Why they will not win it

Because they are South Africa and have not won a major ICC title worth its name since 1998, when they won the first incarnation of the Champions Trophy in Dhaka. Back then, the tournament was not taken particularly seriously (no journalist from the two finalist countries, West Indies and South Africa, covered it). There is not a specific reason why they will not win. But they never do, so they probably will not.

 

Squad (ODIs)

Hashim Amla 69

AB de Villiers (capt/wk) 139

Alviro Petersen 18

Farhaan Behardien 8

JP Duminy 95

Faf du Plessis 33

Colin Ingram 24

Rory Kleinveldt 7

Ryan McLaren 22

David Miller 20

Morne Morkel 60

Robin Peterson 68

Aaron Phangiso 1

Dale Steyn 72

Lonwabo Tsotsobe 44