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Cricket World Cup 2019 | South Africa 'Dark Horses' in the Tournament: Kallis

Kallis, the outstanding all-rounder of his generation, believes not being tipped as potential winners could work in South Africa's favour.

AFP |May 30, 2019, 7:46 AM IST
Cricket World Cup 2019 | South Africa 'Dark Horses' in the Tournament: Kallis

London: Jacques Kallis believes South Africa can play "without any pressure" as they look to put repeated disappointments behind them at the World Cup.

The Proteas have won only one of seven World Cup knockout matches since making their tournament debut in 1992 and were beaten in the semi-finals four years ago.

This time around they have a tough start when they face hosts and favourites England in Thursday's first match of the tournament at the Oval.

But Kallis, the outstanding all-rounder of his generation, believes not being tipped as potential winners could work in South Africa's favour.

"The results they have over the last few years haven't been as good as they would have liked maybe but this is a great place for them to be (not being talked about)," he told reporters at the tournament opening ceremony in London on Wednesday.

"Coming here without any pressure round their neck, they can play with freedom -- South Africa are my dark horse side," added Kallis, who played the last of his 328 one-day internationals in 2014.

Turning to England, who have risen to the top of the ODI rankings since their first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup, Kallis said: "It has been unbelievable -- where they have come from four years ago to now is incredible.

"They come in as favourites and the guys all know their roles, but they have the pressure of being at home as well so that may hang round their neck," added Kallis, a member of the South Africa side that made an early exit on home soil at the 2003 World Cup.

"It will be interesting to see how they (England) adapt if things don't go their way -- and that can always happen in a World Cup -- how they react to that."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
see more