Renowned expert Aakash Chopra has cast doubts over the quality of the AB de Villiers-less South African team and has stated that he does not see the Proteas as challengers for the World T20. Chopra, however, believes that the Proteas are still strong enough to cause upsets in the tournament.
A major ICC trophy has evaded South Africa since the sport’s inception, but many believed that if the CSA could convince AB de Villiers to come out of retirement, the team might stand a chance at the forthcoming World T20. However, heartbreak ensued last week as de Villiers, who as recently as last month hinted at an international comeback, confirmed that he will remain permanently retired, ruling out a Proteas return.
The announcement hurt the feelings of many fans, who were eager to watch Mr.360 light up the international stage one more time, but, according to renowned expert Aakash Chopra, the decision might hurt the Proteas more. Chopra, speaking about South Africa’s chances in the upcoming WT20, reckoned that the Proteas will be weakened without the presence of de Villiers, and asserted that he hence does not see them as a side that can compete for the title.
"The chances of their progressing would have been better if AB de Villiers was there but if he is not there, it is impossible to get a player of his quality. The team still has good players but is it a team that can win the World Cup, I personally don't think so," Chopra said in a response to a question asked by a fan on his Youtube video, reported Hindustan Times.
"This team can do well, trouble a few people and spoil other teams' parties but they might not be able to win the World Cup because wherever it happens, whether in India or the UAE, I have my reservations with regards to their chances to win the tournament in these conditions.”
The 2019 World Cup turned out to be a disaster for South Africa, and it incidentally was the Proteas’ first ICC event in the past decade without the presence of de Villiers. With South Africa have not won a single ICC trophy even with the presence of de Villiers, Chopra cast his doubts over whether they’d be able to do it without the 37-year-old. The former opener reckoned that the current team is simply, at the moment, ‘not that good’.
"The first thing is whether they can win the World Cup is a big question. They did not win when AB de Villiers was there as well. They play well but something happens when they come for an ICC trophy.
"At this point in time, the team is not that good. Let's be fair, don't count them out. They are a good team, they fight but they are also a team that struggles at the end and chokes at times. They don't really know how to close the big moments. That problem has been there with this team.”