Cape Town - Proteas batsman, Hashim Amla, says the squad will be treating the next three Momentum One-Day Internationals (ODI) against England like ‘finals’, as they look to claw back from a 2-0 deficit in the series. The Proteas are faced with the difficult challenge of winning the last three matches in a row to avoid back-to-back series defeats against the visitors.
The first of those challenges will be the third ODI at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday, which Amla is hoping is the ideal venue for a spirited comeback.
“It’s a massive motivating factor, we want to win the series,” Amla said after the squad’s practice in Centurion on Monday. “Tomorrow is basically the decider for us, we have three finals in a row. Tomorrow is the first one we have to knock off but we have to play the best cricket that we can play.
“Everyone in the team is hungry to do well,” he explained. “ A lot of credit has to go to our coaching staff for having kept the mood in the camp exceptionally good. All the work they have done behind the scenes, nobody sees it, but we know the value they have put in for the batters, bowlers, everyone in fact. As a player we can only hope to put the results on the field to back what the coaching staff has done for us. Tomorrow will be the place to start.”
If England win the series, it will be the first time since 2002 that the Proteas have lost a Test and an ODI series of a bilateral tour. This proud record is a big motivating factor for the squad ahead of Tuesday’s clash, which can ‘make or break’ an otherwise disappointing summer at home.
“Losing the Test matches was a blow,” Amla said. “We had a few setbacks with injuries and a few other things, we didn’t play our best Test cricket. Similarly in one-day cricket we haven’t performed this series, it would be a blow for us to not win this series. At the moment we are not thinking about it, for us our focus is on the next match which is tomorrow. If we win this match, get some momentum for the next one and then hopefully win the one in Cape Town. That is how we are envisioning our progress from here.”