Wed, 06 Dec 2023

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 28 (ANI): South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada believes Proteas have all the strength to shake the 'chokers' tag and get their hands on the coveted ICC Men's Cricket World Cup trophy for the first time.

Despite having some outstanding cricketers, they have yet to claim a World Cup title victory. Additionally, they have yet to play an ODI or T20I World Cup final. Proteas have competed in numerous semifinals, but have never advanced past that stage.

However, the star pacer Rabada is optimistic about Proteas' chances of winning their maiden ICC trophy.

In this upcoming tournament, South Africa will be missing the services of main fast bowlers Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala.

"One thing we have never lacked as South Africans is belief, so going into the tournament we do believe we can win it. We've got the players to do so, so hopefully we can make our first final and win this competition. It's going to be hard but it's going to be really enjoyable. It's exciting to have the best players in the world playing against each other and competing for one prize, and we are up for the challenge," Rabada was quoted as saying by ICC. After registering a remarkable 3-2 victory against Australia after being 2-0 down, the four-time semifinalists are full of confidence to start their WC campaign against Sri Lanka in Delhi on October 7.

Before starting their campaign for the 50-over tournament, South Africa will play two warm-up matches - against Afghanistan and New Zealand- on Friday and October 2 respectively at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.

Rabada will play his second World Cup, after making his first appearance in the 2019 World Cup. The star pacer honestly admitted that he was not his best in his first WC outing with the Proteas, but hopes to make amends in the upcoming prestigious tournament.

"The 2019 World Cup was my first and I wasn't successful at all. The lesson I took from that is that team cohesion is the most important factor, because individuals don't win World Cups, teams do," Rabada added. "The older I have become and the more caps I have, the more I realise that I am a leader in that environment. Through knowing my own strengths and reinforcing them, knowing what makes me tick and through lending an ear to other players, I want to help set how we play as a collective," the star pacer said. Meanwhile, the original South Africa captain Temba Bavuma will miss the Proteas' both warm-up matches because he is travelling home for family reasons, as Proteas Men stated on social media 'X', formerly known as Twitter. In his absence, T20I skipper Aiden Markram will captain the side in the warm-up fixture.

South Africa squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen and Lizaad Williams. (ANI)

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