Aakash Chopra has said the absence of AB de Villiers has further diminished South Africa’s slim chances of winning the 2021 T20 World Cup.
AB de Villiers recently told Mark Boucher that he would not be playing for South Africa again. The Proteas great’s excellent form for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2021 had earlier rekindled hopes of his return to the national setup.
Aakash Chopra: South Africa’s Chances Of Progressing Would’ve Been Better If AB de Villiers Was There
While responding to a fan question in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra almost ruled out South Africa as a T20 World Cup contender in the absence of AB de Villiers.
“The chances of their progressing would have been better if AB de Villiers was there but if he is not there, it is impossible to get a player of his quality. The team still has good players but is it a team that can win the World Cup, I personally don’t think so,” said Aakash Chopra.
While acknowledging that South Africa can upset a few top-ranked teams, the former India player pointed out that the side might be found wanting on the slightly slower and spin-friendly tracks.
“This team can do well, trouble a few people and spoil other teams’ parties but they might not be able to win the World Cup because wherever it happens, whether in India or the UAE, I have my reservations with regards to their chances to win the tournament in these conditions,” added Aakash Chopra.
While AB de Villiers has ruled himself out, South Africa has also not picked some of their experienced players like Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris for the T20I series against West Indies and Ireland. The Proteas team would be weakened further if such accomplished players are not in their scheme of things for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Aakash Chopra: South Africa Failed To Win Either T20I Or ODI World Cup Even In AB de Villiers’ Presence
Aakash Chopra also highlighted that some of the best South African sides in the past have failed to win a World Cup.
“The first thing is whether they can win the World Cup is a big question. They did not win when AB de Villiers was there as well. They play well but something happens when they come for an ICC trophy,” said Aakash Chopra.
While admitting that one can never rule out a team, the 43-year-old signed off by stating that South Africa does not seem to have a side that can go the full distance.
“At this point in time, the team is not that good. Let’s be fair, don’t count them out. They are a good team, they fight but they are also a team that struggles at the end and chokes at times. They don’t really know how to close the big moments. That problem has been there with this team,” observed Aakash Chopra.
South Africa is likely to field a young and rather inexperienced side in the T20 World Cup, with Temba Bavuma at the helm of affairs. It would certainly be a tall ask for them to win their maiden World Cup in unfamiliar conditions. South Africa has never won an ODI or T20I World Cup.
With two T20 World Cups scheduled within a span of one year, South Africa will be keen to see the likes of Janneman Malan, Kyle Verreynne, and Lizaad Williams making a mark in the series.
South Africa Test squad for WI tour
Dean Elgar (C), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Sarel Erwee, Beuran Hendricks, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Keegan Petersen, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Prenelen Subrayen, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams
South Africa squad for WI and IRE T20Is
Temba Bavuma (C), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Sisanda Magala, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius.
South Africa squad IRE ODIs
Temba Bavuma (C), Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, Andile Phehlukwayo