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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 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
see more