20 February 2015
The Castle Lager Proteas have begun their preparations for their second ICC Cricket World Cup match on Sunday when they will face India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MSG).
After a light practice session at the Junction Oval in St Kilda on Tuesday, the team moved to the MCG on Wednesday.
While India have never beaten South Africa in the World Cup, the match against India on Sunday is likely to be one of the toughest the Proteas will face in the group stages.
“Even though they will probably still make it through to the next round even if they lose, this match is significant. It will serve as a psychological victory, both in the fact that India have a way of getting under South Africa’s skin, and in overcoming their first big opponents in this World Cup,” Antoinette Muller writes in the Daily Maverick.
All-rounder JP Duminy says the Proteas had taken a lot of confidence from their 62-run win against Zimbabwe, and felt his innings has given him an understanding of what it takes to succeed in pressure situations.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” Duminy said of his innings. “I guess we don’t want to find ourselves in that position again, especially in the knock-out stages, but it’s good to get an innings like that under the belt coming in under pressure.
“We needed to make a play and to soak up the pressure that was there. I am pleased with the performance. Getting time in the middle is something to enjoy.
“Batting at six it’s not always possible to get a lengthy period of time out in the middle. It was a good opportunity to find my feet and to understand what is needed in certain situations.”
Duminy said he has come to understand his role at number six, mentioning Sunday’s match as a good example of how he had learnt to to adapt his game to different challenges. It has also afforded him more time to work on his growing role with the ball.
“It’s about adapting and making sure you have different sets of skills for different situations,” he said. “These are the things we talk about in team and batters meetings and we try to execute them. Sunday was a good showcase of our skills, especially myself and David [Miller]. We are enjoying batting together and we complement each other well.”
Duminy has fond memories of the MCG, the venue where he announced himself as a Test player, and says he is looking forward to another opportunity to create more memories at the cricketing coliseum.
“All of us are,” he said of the excitement ahead of Sunday’s match. “It doesn’t happen often that you get to play in front of so many people. The MCG is a ground that I have thoroughly enjoyed playing at and hopefully I will be given an opportunity to do something special again.”
Consultants Gary Kirsten and Mike Hussey will be with the team until the Proteas’ third match against the West Indies in Sydney.
WORLD CUP MATCHES/h4>
- 15 February, 3am: South Africa beat Zimbabwe.
- 22 February, 5.30am: South Africa v India. Melbourne Cricket Ground
- 27 February, 5.30am: South Africa v West Indies. Sydney Cricket Ground
- 3 March, 5.30am: South Africa v Ireland. Manuka Oval, Canberra
- 7 March, 3am: South Africa v Pakistand. Eden Park, Auckland
- 12 March, 3am: South Africa v United Arab Emirates. Westpac Stadium, Wellington
- 18 March, 5.30am: Sydney Cricket Ground
- 19 March, 5.30am: Melbourne Cricket Ground
- 20 March, 5.30am: Adelaide Oval
- 21 March, 3am: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
- 24 March, 3am: Eden Park, Auckland
- 26 March, 5.30am: Sydney Cricket Ground
- 29 March, 5.30am: Melbourne Cricket Ground
CricketSA and SAinfo reporter