When big ICC events are around the corner, I go all out in browsing about
's preparation for the event, from their team composition to their match fixtures to the stadiums in which they will play, to their opponent profile, I do a complete analysis as any sports junkie would do of his favourite team. South Africa since their readmission in 92 have always entered every tournament as hot favourites. Be it the 96 WC or the recently held T20, they have always entered the arena as serious contenders, but its in the last mile they have always faltered. In 92 Rain plus a mind boggling Duckworth-Lewis calculation shattered their dreams, in 96 a Brian Lara special saw them go out of the tournament during the Quarter Finals, 99 WC was the most heartbreaking of all, and will be etched in the memory of every Proteas supporter piercing through our heart, we could not make it to the finals because of that fateful single. In 03 rain and misreading of the Duckworth Lewis table cost us an entry into the next round, in 07 we were demolished by our old foes South Africa . We have always found bizzare and inexplicable ways of crashing out of the tournament, our only crowning glory came in the 98 Champions Trophy in Australia Dhaka under the captaincy of the late Hansie Cronje.
A Proteas supporter has never had any moment to cherish during crunch games in big tournaments, and when our team falters the "Chokers" tag are thrown at us which was coined by Steve Waugh, the legendary Aussie captain after he had steered his team to victory in that epic game at Leeds. And since then we have never been able to get rid of that tag no matter how many steep targets we managed to chase.
But of all the South African squads to have taken the field over the years, this is the most formidable of them all, and now in their ranks they have not one but two capable spinners, and one young left arm quickie, is this the change that was needed? It remains to be seen if Smith could get his hands over the trophy which he is eyeing so hungrily. Will the many times Vanquished emerge Victors this once? Starting tomorrow, I will lose my sleep and my hair rooting for Destiny’s Unwanted Children. Will Mother Destiny smile upon us this one time? For the answer, I wait with bated breath....