Cricket World Cup 2011
SA need to win 'at all costs'
Colin Ingram (Gallo)
Mirpur – A defeat to Bangladesh will undo a lot of the Proteas’ good work to date in the Cricket World Cup.Gallery: World Cup 2011
That is why the South Africans may decide against their initial plan of resting key players in Saturday’s final group match at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.
Colin Ingram, who was one of the Proteas’ batting heroes in their 131-run win over Ireland, said on Thursday that the touring side want to beat the Tigers “at all costs”.
“A tournament like this is about momentum and once you get it you can’t afford to lose it,” said Ingram.
“The game against India (which the South Africans dramatically won by three wickets) gave us that and a victory like that can often carry you through the tournament. That is why we are desperate to win the game.”
South Africa are also expecting a massive onslaught from the home side as a victory will ensure Bangladesh a place in the quarter-finals.
“For Bangladesh it’s make-or-break and that is why they will throw everything at us,” Ingram warned his team-mates.
“They are very unpredictable, but that is one of their strengths. They are a passionate team and have two good left-arm spinners against whom it won’t be easy to bat in these conditions.”
Ingram is one of three players in the Proteas’ World Cup squad that was in action here when the national A-team toured Bangladesh in April last year.
“Back then there was very little assistance for pace bowlers and I am convinced the spinners will again have a major role,” he said.
“Even so, everybody knows that the Bangladesh batsmen are not comfortable against seamers. Dale (Steyn) and Morné (Morkel) will feature prominently in our plans.”
Captain Graeme Smith had hinted earlier that Steyn and Morkel could rest, with Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell possibly being used for the first time at the tournament.
“As usual the conditions, more than anything, will determine what the team looks like,” said Ingram.
“It’s nice to know we are in the quarter-finals already, but we can’t afford to lose now.”
Even if it means the 25-year-old from the Eastern Cape, who scored 46 runs against Ireland, does not get to play again.
“Of course all of us want to play as much as possible, but the team spirit is so good that nobody minds missing out on a game,” he said.
“The guys are supporting one another incredibly well. I have never been hugged as often by team-mates as on this tour!”
All three Proteas on the injured list are likely to be ready to play against the Tigers.
South African team doctor Mohammed Moosajee said on Thursday that AB de Villiers (upper leg), Dale Steyn (side muscle) and Imran Tahir (thumb) will have fitness tests on Friday, but “should be declared fit” for the match.
“AB’s rehabilitation programme is going well and he should be available for the game,” said Moosajee.
“Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) medical committee earlier suggested that Imran should rest for 10 days and that period concludes (on Friday). He will also be considered, provided he can field without problems and bat in the nets.”
Moosajee said that Steyn’s injury is not as serious as was initially feared.
“Dale complained of a sore side muscle after his bowling shift against Ireland, but it looks as if he will recover in time. Some of the guys picked up viral infections in Kolkata, but everybody is healthy now and we have a full-strength team.”