Former India opener Aakash Chopra believes that under lights, South Africa has the best fast-bowling attack in the ongoing 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Chopra’s comments come after Proteas bowled out Bangladesh for 233 in defence of 382/5 to win by 149 runs at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
Chopra also made a mention of young pacer Gerald Coetzee, who picked 3-62 for the Proteas against Bangladesh. “Lungi Ngidi did not play and instead Lizaad Williams was given a chance who is a very consistent wicket-taking bowler. And I honestly think under lights this might be the best fast bowling unit in this tournament.”
“Gerald Coetzee has made everyone forget that Anrich Nortje is not playing, and we all know what a world-class bowler Nortje is. I also want to commend Marco Jansen, who somehow always gets wickets regardless of the conditions and situation,” said Chopra in an episode of JioCinema’s daily sports show ‘#AAKASHVANI’.
With the batting, South Africa were propelled by opener and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock scoring his third hundred of the World Cup, a smashing 140-ball 174 and is currently the highest run-scorer of the competition with 407 runs from five matches.
Now in second place in the points table, South Africa will next face Pakistan at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday. Chopra applauded de Kock’s performance and admitted it will be hard for regular skipper Temba Bavuma to be back in the playing eleven after missing out on last two matches due to health issues, in which South Africa’s batters have runs aplenty.
“Quinton de Kock is batting on another level and the best thing about his play style, compared to other batters, is that he always plays for the team. One can never say that he is being selfish, he is just so clinical that he does not stop putting runs on the board.”
“We also saw Aiden Markram who provided stability on the other end with De Kock and led the South African side quite well. I believe that it will be hard for Temba to be part of this team even if he’s fit.”
“On the other hand, Heinrich Klassen gave an extremely explosive performance smashing 90 runs off just 49 balls – this was even after he was consistently giving the strike to De Kock!” he concluded.