New Zealand in SA
Kirsten rules out complacency
Gary Kirsten (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Proteas coach Gary Kirsten
says his No 1-ranked Test team will by no means take New Zealand lightly in their upcoming series.
The South Africans take on the Kiwis in a two-Test series strating at Newlands on Wednesday, with many pundits prediction easy victories for the Proteas over the No 8-ranked side in world cricket.
However, Kirsten believes the fact that his players have kept their feet firmly on the ground over the past year has played its part in them reaching the summit of the world game. They bagged away Test series victories over New Zealand, England and Australia in 2012 to lead the ICC standings with 123 rating points, followed by England (118) and Australia (114) in second and third respectively.
"The success of our team in 2012 was
that we remained humble in our play," Kirsten told the ESPNcricinfo website
. "We didn't take any
situation or any team for granted. We made sure that our preparation was spot
on and that when we got into Test match time, we set up solid foundations to
give ourselves the best chance of success."
Being complacent will not be an option,
neither will being arrogant.
"We take every match we play representing the badge very seriously,"
Evidence of that is in the training schedule, with five practices - more than usual - lined up before the match starts on Wednesday.
The second Test starts in Port Elizabeth on January 11.