Faf: SA fears nobody at CWC

2011-03-21 12:33

Dhaka - South Africa allrounder Faf du Plessis struck a confident note on Monday when he said the Proteas should have too much depth in every department for Cricket World Cup quarter-final opponent New Zealand to counter, providing his team maintains its form.

Gallery: Proteas down Bangladesh

Blog: StickyWicket gets the wobbles

South Africa has emerged as the team to beat since prevailing in a tight match against co-host India, topping Group B to set up Friday's knockout match with New Zealand.

"I'm happy with playing New Zealand," Du Plessis said. "Even if we were playing any of the other teams, we wouldn't have been too worried. We specifically said we didn't want to focus on who we're playing and have our minds distracted.

"If we prepare well and we're ready for the game and play to our full ability, we're confident we'll win the quarter-final."

Du Plessis acknowledged that New Zealand could be dangerous, but added: "I'm not too worried about what they've got. If we bowl well, field well and bat well, we'll win the game."

South Africa has been in this position before, most notably in 1999 when it was strong in the early stages but contrived to tie the semi-final against Australia - despite only needing one run to win with four balls remaining - and missing out on the final due to runrates.

Apart from one hiccup against England, South Africa has looked like one of the best all-round sides at the tournament and the pressure is once again on the team to break its World Cup duck, but players like the 26-year-old Du Plessis are unaffected by past failures.

Du Plessis made his South Africa debut in January and is now preparing for only his 10th international match.

"If you think about making mistakes you're not going to play your best game," he said. "Even when we were in tough situations (during the group stage), guys played with freedom and got us out of that hole.

"We're not going to put too much emphasis on it being a quarter-final or whatever. It's just another game and if we do the things we've been doing, we'll win the game."

With the quarter-final on Friday, both teams find themselves with almost a week off following their final group games.

That will allow New Zealand to nurse bowlers Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills back to full fitness. The South Africa players didn't even have to travel after beating Bangladesh in Dhaka on Saturday, allowing them some vital rest days.

"I think it's important to take your mind off cricket," Du Plessis said. "Then three, four days before the game, you start to build up the intensity until match day when you should be firing on all cylinders."

AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn were rested for the win over Bangladesh, but will be fit for the quarterfinal. Jacques Kallis has had treatment for a tight hamstring, but it is not considered serious.

New Zealand captain Vettori has declared he will be ready to face South Africa after missing two games with a knee injury, while Mills is also hoping to shake off a thigh problem.

However, Hamish Bennett has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament and replaced by Daryl Tuffey.

New Zealand ended up fourth in Group A after an up-and-down campaign. The Kiwis beat Pakistan, but were comprehensively beaten by Australia and Sri Lanka.

The batting proved particularly vulnerable in both those losses.

"It's frustrating when you see the same errors repeated over and over again," coach John Wright was quoted as saying on Monday. "You must learn from your mistakes and that's all I want really."


  • Dr. No - 2011-03-21 13:03

    Uh Oh! Compacancy ahead of a quarterfinal against the regurgent Black Caps. Smith was not joking when he said that the new squad has no memories of previous world cups to hold them back. If he had memories he would have known that this kind of pride by the Proteas normally comes just before the fall. I hope I am wrong and eat my words its just that I like it when they do the talking on the pitch.

      TheGreenMan - 2011-03-21 13:10

      I would take this write-up with a pinch of salt. Journos twist words and context all the time. Faf probably said a lot more than that and it probably made sense and did not sound as silly as a whole ... pinch of salt ;)

      snackpaz - 2011-03-21 13:21

      over-confident, much? look, i love and support the boys to the fullest. but they need to just go about their business and not be too complacent too early. pinch of salt...hopefully!

      Steve Wonderboy - 2011-03-21 15:24

      Does not sound like complacency to me. If we play to our potential we should win. No promises were made, merely confidence expressed in our abilities.

      jay - 2011-03-21 15:27

      First we complain we have too little confidence, then we complain the team may be complacent. let`s face it, so far the team has played overall good cricket. In ODI`s we know that many factors can influence the match while it is being played. So far, the guys have performed better than any other team. If you look at Australia e.g. they look more like our team did in 2007... On paper and by form, the Proteas should reach the final this time,

      ChumScrubber - 2011-03-21 20:37

      Sssssh Faf, just go and win the game - then you can say something. In fact the whole team should keep tjoepstil until they come home with the Cup. We're all nervous right now.

      Gunner - 2011-03-22 07:25

      @ jay....Sounds familiar, but the key word is "SHOULD".

  • Theuns - 2011-03-21 13:07

    Hear...Hear....why doyou think the blacks are in the quarter final...4 not playing cricket??? Good luck Faffie

      Bob - 2011-03-22 11:58

      Well said Theuns, there are eight good teams left in the tourney, in my opinion non of them deserve the title GREAT, all capable of beating each other on their day, Faf would be right to say they don't fear any other team but they had better respect them all otherwise they could get a big piece of egg on the chin, I reckon India are favourites with WI most likely to fall away, not much between the rest, all depends on the day, SA defo in with a good chance of lifting the cup.

  • Stephen - 2011-03-21 13:18

    Hope those words dont come bvack to bite you on the ass Faf....................lets do the business then talk .

  • Gary - 2011-03-21 13:24

    Oh crap...........when are our team going to learn that mouthing off bites back

      Grant - 2011-03-21 17:58

      Better to be confident than scared. If you are confident, you play your own game (and quite honestly, our own game played properly should beat anyone!). If you are scared you become conservative - and then become average because of it. Head down and charge!!!

  • vicj - 2011-03-21 13:30

    Lets rather do the talking on the field and keep a low profile as we have done. Talking s$it only puts pressure on the team.

  • Durasmart - 2011-03-21 13:54

    When are we going to learn to keep our mouths shut before the game and only talk big after we have won the game. That way, if you lose, you don't look like an idiot.

      No Good - 2011-03-21 15:44

      C'mon giv the guys a break. Do u fink Faf is the one who approached Supersport/Sport24 to comment or the other way round? He was asked SPECIFIC questions so he had to say what THEY(journalists) wanted him to say.

  • expatsa - 2011-03-21 13:55

    shut the f...up Faf.... your inexperience is showing and just adds to the motivation for the the black caps to shut the proteas up....rather keep it in the dressing room. Confidence is one thing, inexperience and arrogance another....just ask the Bulls!!!

      Gary - 2011-03-21 14:19

      fully agree here expatsa.....proteas and most sa teams are the opposition's best psychological pep talks

      Steve Wonderboy - 2011-03-21 15:31

      where do you see arrogance? if an aussie had said this you wouldn't have had nothing to say. if our proteas didn't believe in themselves they may just as well have stayed home.

      Azurite - 2011-03-21 16:00

      what an arrogant comment!

  • TheDuck - 2011-03-21 14:08

    Love the attitude Faf du Plessis and you're spot on! Teams must start to fear us! We will slaughter the Back Caps. Don't come here with this rubbish about complacency. The previous world cups mean nothing today. Keep the confidence high boys and let the other teams doubt themselves.

      Bob - 2011-03-22 08:42

      You idiot, what a pathetic comment, just the sort of crap that does turn around and bite you, the black caps are a very good cricket side, SA are a very good cricket side, not great just very good, I would not be at all surprised to see NZ advance from this QF although I would say that SA are the slight favourites, it is highly unlikely that SA will SLAUGHTER anyone let alone a very competitive NZ side, take your dumb blinkers off mate.

  • BlackSwan - 2011-03-21 14:11

    Faffie - hope this is not a true report on what you said - bit green still my lad - first concentrate on really contributing before you open your mouth too wide

  • David - 2011-03-21 14:49

    Do we ever learn. The time to talk is when you've actually done something. In any case, why is every second player a 'spokesman' for the team???????

      StaalBurgher - 2011-03-21 19:41

      They aren't. You people just jump on the bandwagon and assume. The media asks to interview certain players, then they ask specific questions. Only a portion of the answer, without the actual question, is then reported on in here. A spokesman comes out and delivers a prepared statement... which is not what these guys do. Dear god. Same idiotic complaint from every second guy on these boards.

  • Swernoot - 2011-03-21 15:15

    Im sure no one will agree, but I like this attitude of Faf. It shows confidence in himself and the team. We have a great team, and like Faf said if we do everything well, we will win. Withholding confident statements before a game because it might bite you in the ass only shows that you entertain the possibility of losing. Now, I know that boxing and cricket are two different games, but how many times do you think Ali said before a match 'Well I think I might win, but Id rather not say it, lest it comes back to bites me in the ass'. Anyway, Im sure someone will point out how Im wrong, but that is just my opinion

      TheDuck - 2011-03-21 15:23

      I agree with Faf.

      Steve Wonderboy - 2011-03-21 15:27

      damn straight! they shouldn't be playing if they don't believe they can win.

      Azurite - 2011-03-21 16:02

      Hear hear!!! None of these sportsman would have been playing at the highest level if they did not have confidence in their abilities.

  • Steve Wonderboy - 2011-03-21 15:32

    these negative comments must all be coming from the protea critics, i mean supporters. same people who label them chokers.

  • sannahan - 2011-03-21 15:47

    "I'm not too worried about what they've got. If we bowl well, field well and bat well, we'll win the game." Yes, there were times that we were over-confident. There were times that we were scared to death. This is the time for us to be ruthless. Faf states clearly that we have to be thoroughly focused in all departments which will enable us to take on any side. Respect the Black Caps. However, I have much faith in our management. They are not a bunch of amateurs. They will prepare the team even better for this game than for any of the previous. It must be unbelievable to be in the Protea camp. Go Proteas!!!!

  • Louis - 2011-03-21 16:31

    It is really strange and wondrous that justabout everybody comments to keep our traps shut and play the game but the only people without that insight is team managers, coach and players....and even if we win...we should still shut up and play. Can these guys even read?

  • tommy 2 - 2011-03-21 16:32

    Faf ...., Shut up & concentrate. Have you made an international 100. No. So pleasec we do not want to hear from players that have not proved they worth.

      Steve Wonderboy - 2011-03-21 16:45

      @tommy 2 have you made an international 50 or contributed to a team win? would recommend that you be the one to shut up and let the players be. would rather have a confident young player, than a timid old one in my team any day.

      tommy 2 - 2011-03-21 17:01

      @STEVE WONDERBOY Firstly,i am not going to stroke your ego........... Judging by your name. What has this dude done...... for SA cricket. Now, i wonder if any person commenting hear,including yourself has contributed to anything for the proteas.(very lame Steve) BEfore a match , and in a world cup any player is confident,i say deliver the goods then you can open your mouth otherwise shut th. f up.

      Steve Wonderboy - 2011-03-21 17:48

      Firstly the name is a tongue in cheek reference to the singer, not my ego. Secondly from what I have seen Faf is a massive talent who can say whatever he wants, it's called freedom of speech. As long as he is producing on the field it is none of your business.

      tommy 2 - 2011-03-21 18:18


      Steve Wonderboy - 2011-03-21 18:34

      You most definitely have not been watching the same world cup I've been watching

      tommy 2 - 2011-03-21 18:39

      @steve Get of fafs, Mobby D..k

      Swernoot - 2011-03-21 19:41

      @ tommy. I dont agree with you. I dont want only the players who have allready performed to be confident, but every single player in the team, whether he has made 3 or 300. To answer your question, what Faf has done for SA cricket is be picked to play in the WC, a pretty amazing feat if you ask me. That earns him the right to be as confident as he can be, And to say it. Wel done to him. Also, if you dont have any arguments rather just shut up than revert to insults and name calling. Makes you look like a fool :)

      tommy 2 - 2011-03-21 20:24

      @swernoot IF you take offense,by me telling a player to produce the goods on the field,instead of blowing his horn before doing anything convincing on it. About him being selected,it was about him comming in the team and making a 50 in a home series against India. The entire team can be confident,thats fine but when non season campaigner starts to blow his horn(it looks just a bit corny) Now by me stating that he should shut the F..k up,and produce the goods on the field makes you think i have no arguments, One wonders who is the fool. Did you not expect S.A .to qualify for the quarterfinal.

      ChumScrubber - 2011-03-21 20:45

      tommy2 - you come accross as a bit of an idiot with your insults. Why not just answer Steve's questions without having a hissy fit that someone dares question you? Ok, waiting for you tell tell me to shut up - whatever.

      Swernoot - 2011-03-21 20:48

      @ tommy, I didnt take offence, i only disagreed with you, but thanks for caring nonetheless. Relax tommy, regarding the fool comment I was only jesting, and hence the friendly smiley face :). The fool comment was not about what you said about Faf but your later comments, specifically "Get of fafs, Mobby D..k", not really a showstopper of an argument if you ask me.

  • saliem - 2011-03-21 16:47

    Sock it to them Faf and Proteas :-)

  • BugsyJamesy - 2011-03-21 17:02

    They are talking to much again, old South-African flaw.

      Andrew - 2011-03-21 19:01

      Never did Mohammed Ali any harm, there is merit to it but ONLY if you believe it.

  • Andrew - 2011-03-21 18:36

    To be fair I think that Faf was stating the facts that come from our tactical team analysis. I believe that this may well be the the opinion of the entire team. I think he is right, on paper we are better than NZ but in a knock out game anything could happen. I do believe however that we have the edge. If my memory serves me correctly I think we remain as the only team to have bowled out every opponent in this WC, this says something, If we get the top 6 batsmen firing and in back the runs we will be AWESOME. One of my biggest pet gripes at the moment is irresponsible and sensationalist reporting when in fact there is hardly the thread of a story (in all reporting). I thgink that this is yet another case.

      ChumScrubber - 2011-03-21 20:51

      We definately are the better team on paper, I'm just nervous due to the nature of the 50 over game - it all matters who fires on the day. We really should make the final this year, I wish I could say "will" instead of "should". History does not give me the confidence, been let down too often. (I support the Sharks you see.)

  • Paul - 2011-03-21 19:00

    Leker windgat, bet they will not make the final.

      Andrew - 2011-03-21 19:10

      I think they will.

      Swernoot - 2011-03-21 19:32

      Ill take you on on that one paul. how much do you bet.

      Paul - 2011-03-21 19:47

      @Swernoot, I hope tey win the cup. I just hate it when South African teams start with the windgat houding. They must first produce and then brag.

      Swernoot - 2011-03-21 20:38

      That is true Paul. Being windgat does make it worse when you lose, since you have to eat your words. but it also makes It better when you win. I sure hope this year it would be the latter. I think if you look at his actual comments it may not actually be that windgat though. journalists like to take things out of proportion. The headline for example sounds much worse than what faf actually said

  • trindian - 2011-03-21 21:11

    haha so much over confidence lol,,,, at end this attitude will lead these proteas to choke agn black caps... common mc cullam!! smack these chokers out of the park....

  • pagel - 2011-03-21 21:25

    We're looking good - should have to much for NZ (qaurters) and then Sri Lanka or England in the semis, which we can win as they aren't the strongest teams. Australia, India and Pakistan is 3 of the best teams and we will only play one of them in the final (if we get there) - then it is one game and anything can happen. Our chances certainly better than in the beginning of the WC.

  • Daw57 - 2011-03-21 22:55

    Oh my. A piece of syndicated journalism, attributed to that revered Associated Press jornalist, N.O. Body, and everybody gets hot and bothered and reads all kinds of things in Faf's comments. It wasn't COMMENTS, but ANSWERS, for I'll bet my bottom dollar Faf did not walk up to the nearest journalist, saying: "Hey bro (or sis), let me give you my better than thou (windgat, nogal!) assessment of our position." I think what happened was that he was ASKED leading questions during a news conference, and that only his answers are reported here. And what should he have said, in all honesty? Maybe: "Well, if I look at our form during this world Cup, our all-round abilities, the fact that not a single team could complete 50 overs against our bowling attack ... I just don't have any confidence in our team. Everything is a lottery and we will be very lucky if we go any further. We don't even deserve to be here. So we'll just cool our heels and wait for the end." Come on! This is a non-story with a sensational header, written by a no-name journalist. I think the Proteas deserve at least some credit for their planning and the good cricket they've played so far.

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