The thrilling T20 World Cup is round the corner and if we go by betting market favorites, South Africa is leading the chart. The SA cricket team looks perfectly balanced to be among the top contenders for the T20 World Cup trophy, and it reflects in the thinking of players Kagiso Rabad, Quinton de Kock, David Miller, and Lungi Ngidi. Discussing the future of the game, cricket schedule, and development of the T20 squad with Betway correspondent, SA team members shared challenges the team and players face and strategies they are adopting to overcome them in time.
Echoing the challenges players face in playing all three formats of cricket, Kagiso Rabada told Betway correspondent that it is extremely challenging, both mentally and physically. But he says, “On the flip side, we get an opportunity to play a sport that we love. I like to remind myself how lucky I am.”
Recalling how badly players missed playing cricket during the pandemic, David Miller acknowledges that it is challenging to play all three formats in top form, but adds, “It’s just trying to make sure that we’re in the best possible shape in terms of physique, really making sure that we tick our boxes in the gym and stay fit and healthy.”
“You want to play as much cricket as possible while you’re in good nick,” said David Miller adding that he has decided just to listen to his body and try to play as much cricket as he could.
On staying mentally fit, Quinton de Kock, who bid adieu to Test cricket, told the correspondent that there is not much pressure on his body anymore, and he is still playing loads of cricket.
“T20s are easier on the body than Test matches,” said Quinton de Kock adding, “For me, my body being fresh means that I stay mentally fresh. I can play for a few different teams and stay fairly relaxed.”
Lungi Ngidi believes switching off is necessary to stop setting in mental fatigue and maintain performance.
“Sometimes just listening to music and walking down the street really does help,” he said adding that he just wants to get away from the cricketing topic conversation as much as possible.
On the future of cricket in terms of format specialization, Kagiso Rabad said he is enjoying all formats at the moment and there is still a lot to achieve in all three formats, but, “there’s going to be a time when it might be too much.”
Lungi Ngidi also wants to play in all three formats, but believes, “at some point, one thing has got to go, with other commitments and mental wellbeing to think about.”
Highlighting individual prowess in enduring physical and mental challenges of playing all formats, Quinton de Kock said, “Everyone feels different, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it started going that way. As time goes on it’s becoming tougher to do all three.”
“But there are some guys who can still do it and fair play to them,” he said adding that there’s a lot of cricket going on everywhere now, so it might start going to change in favor of one format or the other.
On the SA team’s status and strategy, Quinton de Kock told that the team had a good run in the last year, adding, “It was a slow start when Mark Boucher came in but we knew it was going to be because we had to come up with a blueprint and a plan for how we want to go about things.”
“We’re playing really, really well as a team,” said David Miller adding, “We have been building up the squad for some time now and everyone’s understanding their roles.”
He acknowledges the importance of individual performance, but added, “As a team, we’ve bought into what we want to do and what works.”
Highlighting the young composition of the team, Lungi Ngidi said, “If we are putting in the performances with these guys now, once they settle into their roles I can only imagine what’s going to happen.”
The team is in pretty good shape, he said, adding that we have to prevent external influences cloud the mind and with a bit of luck the team could lift the first piece of global silverware. With the team in form and looking in good shape, South Africa are amongst the favourites heading into this World Cup. Betway currently have South Africa priced as fourth favourites at 15/2 in their online cricket betting markets.