South Africa captain Faf du Plessis chosen hosts England and 2011 champions India as the title favourites for this year’s Cricket World Cup and said his side will go into the competition with lowered expectations, which could work to their lead.
South Africa’s World Cup journeys have often ended in unfortunate circumstances – including falling foul of an unfair rain rule, misreading the Duckworth–Lewis run-rate requirement, or comical run outs at the death.
“We will go with a little bit less pressure on us as a team in terms of the expectation of winning it,” Du Plessis, who team are ranked fourth in the ODI standings, said on Tuesday.
“It is pretty clear that England and India are the two favourites. We are a young group and the guys are just excited about the opportunity.”
However, Du Plessis is aware that South Africa will still have to face a lot of hype in the run-up and during the contest as well as the narrative of their previous failures.
“We have gone to tournaments in the past where we have felt like we had the strongest team on paper, but cricket is not played on paper,” he said. When opponents look at us now, we are not the strongest team. But when a South Africa team goes to the World Cup, the chat in the media starts, even the opposition starts to chat!”
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