SA more serious and less carefree in World Cups

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SA more serious and less carefree in World Cups

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There was a time when South Africa enjoyed the journey of a World Cup Cheap Cigarettes Near Me, without the anxiety of whether they would reach the destination. But it may be difficult for any of the current crop to remember it.

In 1992, when South Africa were returnees to international cricket, most of this squad were at school and some were not even born. Their predecessors were unsure what to expect from a major tournament and equally unsure what they would bring to it. They were the kids in the candy shop of their day but they were not as naive.

They beat Australia in the tournament opener to announce themselves as serious contenders and shocked even themselves with their resolve Pack Of Cigarettes. From that day everything changed.

South Africa went from a team which was testing the waters of a major tournament, to a team that had already begun thinking of winning it. It did (or perhaps did not) help that the only reason they lost the semi-final was a because of a calculation. Had the equation been worked out using the same system that is used today, South Africa would have won that match. That only made it worse for them. They were seen as a robbed squad, who would have to spend every tournament after that trying to claim back what they were made to believe was rightfully theirs.

Call it confidence, call it competitive streak, call it unfair expectation but that is what South Africa carried in ICC competitions for the last 23 years. They won five out of six series in the 12 months leading up to the tournament, were considered the best lead side with the most talented contingent of players who could do everything from bat aggressively - Herschelle Gibbs and Daryll Cullinan - to bowl aggressively - Kallis and Shaun Pollock to field aggressively - Jonty Rhodes Marlboro Black Menthol. And it ended in a heartbreak which has haunted South Africa ever since.

It was only after the 2007 World Cup that South Africa became serious about recognising the extent of their scarring, which had already deepened by two layers. They had the miscalculation of 2003 and the mistake in approach of 2007, when they sought to attack Australia and imploded instead and the bruises were starting to show.

Graeme Smith, who was captain in 2007, remembered that period as a time when he thought South African cricket needed to take a step up. He was entering the phase of his captaincy where he was no longer content with middling performance and he had the backing of the administration and its growing professionalism to help change that.

South African sport took to modern practice easily, even though it remained rooted in traditional philosophies of hard work and tough training. In 2007, the Springboks used a psychologist during the triumph at the Rugby World Cup. By 2011, South Africa's cricket side roped Henning Gericke in too.

That year, they took planning to a different dimension. In preparation for the conditions, they picked a squad with three specialist spinners, an unprecedented number in a South Africa outfit. In preparation for the pressure, they acquired the services of Gericke. But in all that, they took out the fun and that was evident during the group stage. South Africa were covering old ground and were not happy to be covering it either. When they lost to England on a crumbling pitch in Chennai and angrily brushed off suggestions that it was another choke, and demanded not to be burdened with that tag.

One more consultant

A head coach, a former head coach, an assistant coach, a bowling coach, a spin-bowling coach, a death-bowling coach, a batting consultant, a fitness coach, a physiotherapist, an analyst and a doctor were all not enough for South Africa - they had to get an explorer too.

Mike Horn, who has worked with the Indian team and South Africa before, met with the squad in Sydney to "put it all into perspective for us," Russell Domingo explained.

In addition to their regular crew of Russell Domingo, Allan Donald, Adrian Birrel and Claude Henderson, South Africa have also made use of some Gary Kirsten's 50 days of annual consulting and Mike Hussey's experience How Many Packs Of Cigarettes Are In A Carton. Their contingent of support staff is the biggest in the tournament and has caused questions over whether Domingo needs support because of a lack of playing experience.

He brushed that off as a non-issue citing counterparts Mike Hesson and Graham Ford's records as proof. "Whether you've played a 100 Tests or whether you've played ten Tests; whether you've played no first-class cricket or a 100 first-class games, coaching's not easy," Domingo said. "It's a lot about how you are going to manage your players and the selections you make and the strategies you employ.

"Whether I have played a 100 Tests or not, it's not going to make a massive difference to my coaching when we play the quarter-final. No player is going to batting there and thinking, 'My coach has played a 100 Tests, I'm going to smoke this out the ground now!' It doesn't work like that. It's all about preparing the players well and making sure they are in the right frame of mind.

It eased when they beat India in the next game and finished as the only side to have bowled out each of the oppositions they faced, but came back with superglue sticking power in the quarter-finals. South Africa's middle-order meltdown only revealed one thing: so much had changed, everything remained the same.

And from that day, what little enjoyment remained in ODI cricket seemed to have been sucked out. They took their joy from the longer format, where in 2012 they became the world's best. ODI cricket was an afterthought and as the World Cup neared, so did anxiety, which has resulted in the South Africa we see today. Stressed, nervous and at times, desperate.

All teams talk the company line at press conferences; South Africa to the point where they confuse themselves as to what that line is. AB de Villiers started off declaring his team the best in the tournament, then said they may not be as good as they think they are and then went back to his original assessment. Along the way they lost their two biggest matches in the group stage, which explains his first change of sentiment and beat up on smaller teams, which does not fully explain his second.

Those mixed messages are only the ones going out to the media - so what must be swirling in the dressing room. Some players think South Africa need to prepare more carefully for the venues they will play at - Morne Morkel mentioned using new balls - others want them to do as they have always done with an introspective focus on their own game. And that's before asking any of the members of supports staff what any of them think.

Now there's one more. Mike Horn has been roped in and be brings a fear factor of his own. "He's done a lot scarier things in the world than facing Dale Steyn or Morne Morkel," Russell Domingo said. Luckily for this team, they are returning to a place with a bit of both.

South Africa have special memories of the SCG as cricketers - the 1992 World Cup game against Australia, the New Year's Test the following summer which they won by five runs - and as characters - Smith walked out to bat with a broken hand at this venue Buy Tobacco Online. They will need a bit of both on Wednesday to overcome Sri Lanka Price Of Cigarettes, and a healthy dose ofenjoyment as well.<br/>Related articles:<br/> Where To Buy Tobacco Pipes
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