Opinion: Proteas can win the World Cup without AB de Villiers

Fielder throws cricket ball in

Jonhenry Wilson believes the Proteas have what it takes to win the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019, even without the services of AB de Villiers. Particularly with the way the tournament has been designed, and the schedule of their matches, the South African cricket team could book their ticket to the knock-out stages with good early performances. Read his opinion piece below.

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The shock retirement of AB de Villiers dealt a gut punch to the Proteas' hopes of finally ending their World Cup hoodoo in 2019, but there is still hope.

De Villiers was arguably in the form of his life when he made the decision to quit, leaving the Proteas to replace the irreplaceable.However, there is more to winning cricket's ultimate prize than superstar displays.

The little master himself, Sachin Tendulkar, was unable to bring the crown home through five tournaments, until India built that incredible 2011 team. Cricket is a team sport after all.

The format of the tournament means that any nation wanting to claim the title will have to survive the bun fight of a single 10-team round-robin phase - and then win two matches to take the crown.

In a one-off environment, it is hard to argue that the Proteas can't beat any side in the world.

What the retirement of De Villiers has done is free the Proteas from the burden of expectation heading into the tournament.

The ICC's pandering to the BCCI has also inadvertently presented South Africa with an opportunity to get the jump on one of their biggest rivals in the initial phase of the event.

South Africa face England, Bangladesh and India in their first three games of the tournament, with each of those matches set to be tournament openers for their opponents.

India start the World Cup late, with the Indian Premier League set to wrap up just a week before England face South Africa in the opening game.

With 10 teams contesting the log phase, six victories should just about guarantee progression. If the Proteas can secure early points and a win against a possibly undercooked India, it will go a long way toward sealing a semi-final berth, given they face qualifiers the West Indies and Afghanistan in the games that follow.

A strong start to the tournament means little - just ask anyone who turned out for the Proteas in 1996 - if you cannot get the results when the pressure is on at the backend.

The presence of de Villiers has a unique effect on how the pressure to perform is spread throughout the team. When he is there, de Villiers' talent is such that he is expected to get runs and to do the business for the Proteas. If he fails, that same pressure is transferred to the lower order and tail. If de Villiers isn't in the XI, the pressure falls onto the experienced hands and X-factor batsmen at the top.

The Proteas should not feel inadequate heading into a World Cup with the likes of Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, David Miller and JP Duminy up top backed up by some of the best bowlers in the world.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson.

Do you agee with Jonhenry? Can the Proteas break the hoodoo and win their first World Cup? Comment below.

The views expressed above are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Hollywoodbets.

Current World Cup 2019 Betting
England 9/4

India 7/2
Australia 9/2
South Africa 11/2
New Zealand 15/2
Pakistan 10/1
West Indies 20/1
Sri Lanka 22/1
Bangladesh 50/1
Afghanistan 100/1

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