Sydney - The Proteas will shut out external
forces and focus on what has worked well in the past for their Cricket World
Cup quarter-final match against Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground on
Captain AB de Villiers says the occasion of
the match will not change the team’s approach, as nearly two years of planning
comes to its stiffest test.
“I think we've just got to try and play a
good game of cricket,” De Villiers told the media on Tuesday. “I think it's
important to focus on what we've been doing well and try to do that tomorrow.
We have certain strengths that we like to focus on, we don’t like to focus too
much on the opposition.”
The squad, particularly the senior players
who have been in this situation before, are aware of the significance of the
match, and will be striving to overturn the disappointment of past campaigns.
The skipper has been the standout performer
for the Proteas throughout the competition, and says leading from the front
will be key in spurring on his troops.
“I think it's partly my responsibility as a
captain to lead the way that I want the boys to go out there,” he said. “The
way that I show energy together with a few senior players around me and the
body language we use; the kind of energy we show when we walk out, the things
we do and the way we lead I think will make it easy for the rest of the guys to
“We've done it before, there's no reason
why we can't do it tomorrow, it's a matter for the rest of them to follow,” he
explained. “We'll have a few chats tonight. We've got (adventurer and
motivational speaker) Mike Horn here, he brings great energy to the team. He'll
have a bit of a chat to us about the Germans who won the World Cup not long
ago, and on things that worked for them. We can maybe learn a little bit from
that. Other than that, I've got to lead by example as a captain, and I believe
the guys will follow.”
The squad cancelled their training session
on Tuesday morning and instead took to the park for a game of volleyball and
soccer, an important element of sustaining freshness and comradery.
“I'm really comfortable with where the team
is at and with the form that everyone has shown,” De Villiers said. “I just
felt it was important not to focus too much on cricket today, sort of get the
brain switched off a little bit before the big clash tomorrow. It's important
for us to be fresh. I believe we play really good cricket when we are mentally
fresh, we just play those pressure situations so much better.”