Hamilton: South Africa skipper AB de Villiers promised his team will take Zimbabwe seriously in their opening World Cup match here today, declaring his players are keen to make history and ditch their tag as chokers.
South Africa are top contenders this time after failing to go beyond the semi-final stages in all six World Cups they have featured since their readmission to international cricket in 1991.
AB de Villiers
Despite admitting his team is amongst the best, De Villiers wants to focus on a dangerous Zimbabwe. “We know of Zimbabwe’s capability, it’s not long ago they beat Australia,” said De Villiers of their opponents who defeated Australia on their home turf in August last year. “They are a dangerous side and have come a long way. They are under a good coach (Dav Whatmore) so we know we will have to take them seriously and it’s a big start for both teams.”
Zimbabwe raised their not-so-high hopes with a seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka in a warm-up game on Wednesday. Under Whatmore, Zimbabwe have shown signs of progress, notably in their bowling which restricted New Zealand to 157-7 in their rained-off first warm-up game on Monday.
'Tired of other games'
De Villiers said he didn’t want to look beyond the first game and worry about other opponents. “To be honest to watch other games and to follow other games tires me. I don’t really care for other games, I watched 10 overs of the Sri Lanka-New Zealand game (on Saturday) and got tired.
“I just want to focus on what we need to do to win the game tomorrow (Sunday), that’s the most important thing.”
Elton Chigumbura, Zimbabwe
>> Maintain their warm-up form.
>> Hamilton Masakadza scores a quickfire ton.
>> Pacer Dale Steyn is tackled well.
>> Sean Williams shines with ball and bat.
AB de Villiers, South Africa
>> Dale Steyn is 100 per cent fit to play.
>> Play a typical match-winning knock.
>> JP Duminy comes good with the bat.
>> Hashim Amla continues his good form.