Victory needed for SA to shed ‘chokers’ tag: Wessels

Former skipper prefers Virat Kohli moving himself down to No. 4

Former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels on Monday said the only way the Proteas can shed the ‘chokers’ tag is by winning a major ICC event like the World Cup beginning on May 30.

Wessels, the skipper in the ill-fated 1992 World Cup campaign, said his team not going as favourites into the World Cup this time could be a blessing in disguise. “People will keep calling them chokers until they win an ICC event and rightly so. They were the best team in 1999, still they could not win it,” said Wessels referring to the tied second semifinal against eventual champion Australia.

“This time, they are not the favourites and that could be a good thing,” he said via video conference during a promotional event here.

The 61-year-old, who also played for Australia, said South Africa will miss A.B. de Villiers. “AB is a massive factor in any team. Now South Africa will have to rely on Hashim Amla and others to do the job,” said Wessels.

He picked India, England and Australia as his favourites for the World Cup. “India are a great one-day team and will be tough to beat alongside England and Australia. England will be a threat but they will be under pressure as hosts.”

Talking about India’s batting order, especially the much talked about No. 4 position, Wessels said he would like to see skipper Virat Kohli move himself down to number four from three.

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