GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE OUR COUNTRY PROUD: DE VILLIERS
By: Khanyisani Dlomo
Proteas are set to fly the South African flag high when they take on England in the ICC Championship Trophy first semi-final at The Oval on Wednesday.
Addressing the media ahead of what is arguably one of his stiffest tests as captain; AB de Villiers said that they are privileged to be in the semi-finals. Proteas advanced to semi-finals by defeating West Indies with a run-rate after the match ended in a tie. England defeated New Zealand by 10 runs to book their place in the semis.
De Villiers said that they are humbled as a team and this is a great chance to make the nation proud. “As a team we are humbled by the fact that we made it past two virtual knock-out matches and into the semi-finals. We have an opportunity to make our country proud and we are going to take full advantage of that,” said de Villiers.
“Both teams have played really well,” he said. “I don’t think any team goes into the match with an extra advantage. We have won two knock-out games in a row and we definitely take confidence from that.
“I can’t say it will give us an edge because they will be playing in front of a big home crowd under their home conditions. Its 50-50 and it’s up to the team that rocks up here with the right attitude and can take the momentum early on and run with it.”
Meanwhile, Proteas seamer, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, said on Monday that the team was “minding its own business” as they continued to put in the final touches leading into the match.
“It doesn’t feel any different. We know it’s a semi-final and it’s the big stage, but the boys are still in the same mindset that they had during the group matches. Every match there was a big game so nothing has changed,” said Tsotsobe.
With the absence of Dale Steyn in the past two encounters of the tournament, Tsotsobe has taken the responsibility of being a frontline bowler and has demonstrated that he can work under pressure.
“I think it’s always a good thing to have responsibility on your shoulders,” he said. “You know that there are people looking out for you, people who are backing you to lead and I think it was a good move for me.”