As the ICC Men’s Cricket ODI World Cup 2023 approaches, South Africa finds themselves grappling with injury concerns. The Proteas had to make two crucial changes to their squad, with Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala ruled out of the tournament due to injuries. In their place, Andile Phehlukwayo and Lizaad Williams were drafted in. These early setbacks have raised concerns about the team’s overall readiness for the tournament.

Graeme Smith believes South Africa’s performance rely on key players

Now, former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith emphasized that South Africa‘s success in the World Cup hinges on the stellar performances of their key players. He suggested that if six to seven of their top performers deliver consistently, the team has the potential for a successful campaign. Quinton de Kock‘s impressive showing in the warm-up game against New Zealand, where he scored a brilliant 84 runs, highlights the importance of such star players in South Africa’s quest for World Cup glory.

“If South Africa need to be successful, they would need their 6-7 big players to really have a great World Cup. If you look at top-order you have Quinton, Temba and in that middle-order, really you have really good players of spin, power players like David Miller, Heinrich Klassen and Aiden Markram that’s going to be key area for South Africa if they are going to be successful,” Smith was quoted as saying by the PTI.

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Most formidable challenge for the Proteas

One glaring concern for South Africa, as pointed out by former skipper Smith, is the lack of depth in their batting lineup, particularly in the absence of quality all-rounders. The Proteas were once blessed with world-class all-rounders like Lance Klusener, Jacques Kallis and Shaun Pollock. However, the current team under Temba Bavuma‘s leadership lacks a standout batter at No. 7. This gap in their batting lineup could prove to be a significant challenge during the quadrennial event.

“Where they fall short is, they don’t have a lot of depth in batting like some of the other teams have. Who is going to be that all-rounder for them at No. 7? Marco Jansen or someone else,” the 42-year-old concluded.

Upcoming clash against Sri Lanka

Looking ahead, South Africa’s upcoming challenge will be against Sri Lanka at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on October 7. This match will be a crucial test of their preparations and a chance for the team to address some of the concerns raised in the lead-up to the tournament.

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