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South Africa 2019 Cricket World Cup Betting Guide

Quinton De Kock South Africa 2019 Cricket World Cup Betting Guide

In some quarters, South Africa is referred to as the “nearly men” of cricket. Others would uncharitably call them chokers. They’ve never won a limited overs World Cup in either format and they somehow find new and innovative ways of throwing away winning situations.

Will 2019 prove to be South Africa’s year or will it end in heartbreak once again for the Rainbow Nation?

Outright Betting

South Africa is available at odds of +1100 to win their first World Cup this year and it’s a figure that makes them fifth favorites and close to New Zealand (+1000). Based on the sportsbook’s projections, they are expected to battle it out with the Kiwis for a place in the semifinals but can they take that expectation a stage further?

Much will depend on key bowlers staying fit while the batting department needs to find more power through the order. We think the South Africans may struggle but who is waiting in the squad to prove us wrong?

Pace Battery

Bowling should be South Africa’s strength but only if their first choice attack retains full fitness throughout the tournament. Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn featured at the IPL but, in both cases, their appearances were cut short due to injury. The selectors will be sweating on the pair as there is little effective backup, certainly as far as pace bowling is concerned.

Both Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo are quick but raw and can be expensive in this format. Chris Morris is a capable all-rounder while Dwaine Pretorious lacks penetration at this level.

The spin section has stronger coverage with Imran Tahir a threat on any surface. This could be the most effective bowling unit in the tournament but only if Steyn and Rabada are 100 percent fit and in form.

The Power Game

South African sides of the recent past have employed a good mix of power-hitting batsmen along with the patient accumulators. However, the current top order looks a little “pedestrian” by comparison. Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis, Aiden Markram and JP Duminy can score quickly but are not renowned for blasting off from ball one.

There are exceptions: Quinton De Kock and Rassie Van Der Dussen can score heavily in the early overs while David Miller can boost the total at the death. However, we don’t feel that the side has a good balance in terms of batting style and South Africa will need more power and less patience if it is to go deep into this tournament.

Key Man

With those issues in mind, our key man in this 2019 World Cup squad is Quinton De Kock. Like any wicket keeper / batsman, it’s going to be a busy tournament for the 26-year-old but while his glovework is tidy enough, QDK’s batting will be crucial.

De Kock can score at the rapid pace that South Africa needs and, as we saw at the IPL, the left-hander is in decent touch. Coming into the World Cup, he has 4,602 runs from 106 games but it’s his tendency to “go big” that is seriously impressive. De Kock has no fewer than 14 One Day International tons with a best of 178 and South Africa’s destiny could depend on his ability to score quickly over long periods of their innings.

Verdict

South Africa opens the World Cup with a tie against England on May 30 and that match should give us a clear indication of their credentials. We’ll be able to see if the side can compete with the pre-tournament favorites and whether there is any lingering fatigue factor from the IPL. Many South Africans are concerned that their players stayed until the end of the tournament and that opening game with England will offer lots of clues to South Africa’s destiny.

The new format, which has dispensed with a second group stage, means that teams have less of a safety net. Every loss could be vital and we think there are too many things counting against the South Africans in 2019.

As for any tournament side bets, we’ve mentioned Quinton De Kock as the key batsman and he is quoted at +1700 to be the tournament’s leading run scorer, ahead of Faf Du Plessis at +2400.

Followers of the IPL may well want to take a look at Imran Tahir as the tournament’s leading wicket taker. The leg spinner’s epic battle with Kagiso Rabada may make him an option in this market at odds of +1900 while that same price is offered on Rabada to lead the list.

As for the team, there are too many issues to sustain a challenge and we feel that South Africa will be making way at the end of the groups.

Prediction: Group Stages

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