South Africa: How to Win an ICC Cricket World Cup

analysis

England turned their unmitigated 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup disaster into resounding triumph in 2019, creating a blueprint for the Proteas to follow.

If you think South Africa were dismal at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, you haven't seen England. That's 2015 vintage England, mind you: not the newly (and deservedly) crowned 2019 world champions.

England played six matches at the previous ICC Cricket World Cup, losing resoundingly to Australia (by 111 runs), to New Zealand (8 wickets), Sri Lanka (9 wickets) and Bangladesh (15 runs), and beating only Scotland and Afghanistan (barely). England were, in a word, rubbish.

What a difference four years can make.

England's 2019 ICC World Cup included high-scoring wins over South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies and Afghanistan, and after a mid-competition blip came high-pressure victories over India and New Zealand, before the convincing semifinal victory over Australia, and a mindblowing Final win over New Zealand in one of the all-time great one-day international cricket matches.

It's impossible to overstate the pressure on England in that 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup Final. They had to bat second on a pitch that - like so many at this tournament - looked designed to last 40 overs,...

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