Former South African captain Faf du Plessis has identified his top contenders for the upcoming World Cup in India, which is set to commence on October 5. While acknowledging South Africa’s formidable team, the 39-year-old conceded that the host nation, India, and the five-time World Champions, Australia, are the frontrunners. India clinched the 50-over World Cup in 1983 and 2011, while Australia has been dominant in the event, winning five of the last nine editions.
Both India and Australia faced elimination in the semifinals during the previous 2019 edition, whereas South Africa failed to qualify for the final four. In a conversation with the ICC ahead of the marquee event, Du Plessis emphasized that home advantage and historical success could tilt the scales in favor of India and Australia.
“I believe South Africa possesses a strong team. It will be a challenging task to overcome India, especially on their home turf. One cannot underestimate Australia, given their track record in ICC tournaments,” commented Faf du Plessis.
The former South African skipper from the 2019 World Cup also expressed confidence in his team’s prospects in the upcoming edition.
“South Africa’s white-ball squad is in excellent form. They have valuable experience heading into this World Cup,” Faf added.
Despite being perennial favorites in past World Cups, South Africa had to fight their way into the 2023 tournament, securing their spot with a 2-0 series victory against the Netherlands earlier this year, thereby avoiding the qualifiers.
Despite fielding stronger teams in previous tournaments, South Africa struggled to perform at their best in World Cups and never reached a final. Nevertheless, they are one of the few teams to taste success in ODI matches in India, winning the series 3-2 in 2015/16 and narrowly losing 2-1 last year. The Proteas will commence their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka in Delhi on October 7.