Despite losing to England by 104 runs in their opening game of the World Cup, Jacques Kallis believes that South Africa can still go far in the tournament, and that he has “seen nothing to change” his mind about it so far.
“It was never going to be easy playing England in the very first game but I’ve seen nothing to change my mind that South Africa can go deep in this tournament,” Kallis wrote in a column for ICC.
“They will be hard on themselves when they look back on the game, there were too many soft dismissals for my liking, but there was nothing wrong with their performance that cannot be rectified.
“This format allows you to make a slower start, it’s a long tournament and playing everyone evens things out in the end.
“Having three games in six days has pros and cons – with the Dale Steyn injury they’d have probably wanted a bit more space between them.
“But it also gives them the chance to establish some early momentum. When you’ve lost, you want to get straight back out there as soon as possible and it’s great they’ve got Bangladesh on Sunday.”
Kallis was also all praise for England, and called their progress since the last world cup “unbelievable.”
“England’s progress since the last ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup has been unbelievable – where they have come from to now is incredible and down to the hard work they’ve put in.
“They’ve won here but the pressure of being favourites will only increase with every match.
“They are a pretty fearless team but it will be interesting to see if they carry on playing the way they have been with that freedom, especially as the tournament gets more tense.
“I think they will they believe in their abilities but it will be interesting to see how they adapt if things don’t go their way – and that can always happen in a World Cup.”
South Africa will next take on Bangladesh on June 2 at The Oval.