ICC Champions Trophy

Proteas ready to step up

2013-06-09 21:15
AB de Villiers (Getty Images)
Birmingham - The Proteas will be banking on their in-depth knowledge of their opponents in the crucial ICC Champions Trophy match against Pakistan in Birmingham on Monday.

The Proteas have played Pakistan in six ODI’s in the last three months, and have often faced-off against their sub-continent rivals in numerous knock-out matches.

"Playing Pakistan again in a knockout game is something that we have gotten used to over the last few years, but it's a great challenge and something we look really forward to," Proteas captain, AB de Villiers said on Sunday.

"We never thought it would be any different in this tournament, we knew that we would have to be at the top of our game to win this tournament, and I'm confident we will be tomorrow."

De Villiers says the squad has accepted and learnt from the mistakes of the previous game, and will be looking to blossom into their full potential.

"We're not going to change too much," he explained.

"We've tried that before; I remember the 2007 World Cup where we had Australia in the semi-finals and tried to change strategy by trying to take it to them, the next minute we were 20 for 5.

"That doesn't always help so we're going to stick to what we do best. We know our strengths really well and we also know where we’re lacking a bit so we'll try to minimize that.

"We believe if we play to our full potential, which we didn't in the previous game, we can beat any team."

The Proteas are still sweating on the fitness of Dale Steyn, who is still recovering from a side strain.

"The final decision hasn't been made yet, but it's not looking good; chances are that he'll only be ready for the last one," de Villiers said.

"We're still hanging on to that last little bit of hope that he could wake up tomorrow morning and do a bit of a fitness test and look good for the game, but it's not looking good at all."

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