Title odds 12.50
To reach the final 4.3310/3
To reach semi-final 2.01/1
Captain Faf Du Plessis
Coach Ottis Gibson
Last two years win % 61
Win bat first % 53
Win bat second % 67
Batting average rank 5th
Batting strike rate rank 4th
Bowling economy rank 3rd
Bowling strike rate rank 2nd
Top runscorer 1,329 Quinton de De Kock
Top wicket-taker 49 Kagiso Rabada
Game changer Andile Phehlukwayo
The best bowling attack?
Perhaps for the first time since readmission, little is expected of South Africa. That has to a bonus. They have had to swallow the chokers' tag at every tournament since their epic failure in 1999 but, finally, they may have digested it and it's come out the other end so to speak. This is a durable, workmanlike outfit unhindered by the past.
Their strength, unquestionably, is with the ball. They have enviable balance. Kagiso Rabada leads a powerful and pacy attack. Rabada, as witnessed in the IPL, can do it all and he dovetails brilliantly with out-and-out wicket-taker Lungi Ngidi and wise head Dale Steyn. Anrich Nortje is a shock bowler who will ruffle feathers if required. The men who hold it all together, however are Andile Phehlukwayo and Imran Tahir.
Phehlukwayo could well be a player of the tournament candidate considering what he can do with the bat, too, if South Africa go deep. He has terrific variation and thrives on the challenge of bowling at the death. He's some player. Tahir's skill and mystery gives them a spin threat which maybe only India can trump.
Go bigger, quicker
The gulf that South Africa must bridge in England is with the bat. In the last two years their batting average is 0.30 runs shy of a full ten behind the top-rated India. They find themselves in fifth place in this regard and no.4 for collective strike rate. This is not particularly surprising considering the loss of AB De Villiers. They are big shows to fill.
South Africa will, surely, hope for bowler-friendly conditions to bring their two suits closer together. It's also a smart move to look to pair De Kock and Amla at the top of the order with the latter's ability to play the ball late and drop anchor.
De Kock has to fire if South Africa are to win their first tile and there was nothing to suggest in his six appearances in England in ODI previously that he's going to let them down. Du Plessis is Mr Reliable while David Miller and JP Duminy have an important combination of power and experience in the middle-order.
The question marks are over Rassie Van Der Dussen and Dale Steyn at No 8. RVD could be a sensation or South Africa could be chopping and changing at first down. As for Steyn, if South Africa are in the soup in a tight one we can't see him being as useful as other no.8s in the tournament.
+ Seriously sexy bowling unit
+ De Kock blazing away with Amla holding it all together
+ Phehlukwayo proving he's one of the world's finest all-rounders
+ Good chasers
- Worryingly flaky batting at times
- Steyn At No.8
- Win percentage is bumped up by easy home successes
Openers Hashim Amla, de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen
Middle-order Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, David Miller
All-rounders Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius
Wicketkeepers De Kock, Miller
Spinners Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir,
Pace bowlers Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn
Probable XI De Kock, Amla, Van der Dussen, Du Plessis, Miller, Duminy, Phehlukwayo, Steyn, Rabada, Ngidi, Tahir