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Smith optimistic as South Africa touch down in Chennai

| 09.02.2011

They boast the best bowling attack in the world, in Jacques Kallis they have one of the finest all-rounders to ever grace the game and the side have just emerged victorious from a one-day series with the World Cup favourites.

South Africa are known for wilting under pressure in cricket World Cups, but Graeme Smith’s side enter this tournament as the 5/1 joint third favourites, relieved of any extra pressure.

Consecutive wins over India – 3/1 favourites for the World Cup – at the end of January secured a ODI series victory for Graeme Smith’s side, and the captain is optimistic his side will challenge in the upcoming World Cup.

“If we can play some good cricket upfront and get some confidence going, hopefully this team can achieve some great things,” said Smith.

Smith is undoubtedly a class act opening the innings for South Africa, but his recent poor form sees him as long as 33/1 to be the tournament’s top runscorer.

Sachin Tendulkar is the favourite to win the accolade at 12/1, but South Africa’s talismanic all-rounder, Jacques Kallis is available at 25/1 and offers plenty of value.

Kallis averages 45.82 with the bat, and takes a wicket every 31.90 runs in ODIs, and the South African star is sure to have a huge impact on this World Cup.

Both Kallis and Smith are available at 7/2 to be South Africa’s top runscorer in the competition, but are headed in the betting market by Hashim Amla (9/4).

In Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, the South Africans can boast two of the strongest bowlers in the world but Steyn has the edge in the top South African wicket-taker betting at 7/4.

Morkel is 5/2 to be South Africa’s best bowler but both bowlers will cause problems for top orders and South Africa are a team to watch out for in this World Cup.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.