Free Spirited South Africa Unburdened By T20 World Cup Expectations

Johannesburg - South Africa, perennial under-achievers in International Cricket Council events, will go into the T20 World Cup unburdened by high expectations.

The team is short on big names and big-time experience, with seven of their squad making their debuts in a world event.

"There's not much expectation," admits captain Temba Bavuma, himself a World Cup debutant.

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However, he quickly adds that he is talking about external perceptions rather than in the team room where, he says "we have a certain level of expectation".

Bavuma says there is a quiet confidence in a team notably missing T20 stars such as AB de Villiers, who confirmed his retirement from international cricket earlier in the year, and former captain Faf du Plessis, who was available but not selected.

"We have had some positive results which are good for our confidence," said Bavuma.

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"We have done our work as a collective."

Those good results include a current streak of a South African record-equalling seven successive T20 international wins, encompassing series victories against T20 World Cup champions West Indies, Ireland and Sri Lanka – all achieved away from home.

Unusually, South Africa's success has been built on accurate spin bowling, a major departure for a country long known for its battery of fast bowlers, but likely to be a positive on the slow pitches expected in the United Arab Emirates.

South Africa started each match in Sri Lanka in September with three slow left-arm bowlers -– Tabraiz Shamsi, Bjorn Fortuin and Keshav Maharaj -– and also made use of the right-arm off-spin of top-order batsman Aiden Markram.

The slow men collectively claimed 16 of the 22 Sri Lankan wickets that fell to bowlers.

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Source : https://www.msn.com/en-za/sport/other/free-spirited-proteas-unburdened-by-t20-world-cup-expectations/ar-AAPB60p

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