Auckland - AB de Villiers says the weight of the nation will
be a motivating factor for his team in their Cricket World Cup semi-final
against New Zealand at Eden Park on Tuesday.
The Proteas have the opportunity to feature in their first
ever World Cup final, but will need to get past a New Zealand side riding on
good form and home-ground advantage.
“The squad is full of self-confidence and I feel that we are
in a good space,” De Villiers said to the media at Eden Park on Monday. “I have
enjoyed the journey to this moment even with the ups and downs. There have been
moments during the competition where we have been on top and other moments
where we have been poor. All of those combinations have put us in a position
that has made us feel confident ahead of tomorrow.”
The skipper feels the squad enters the match with no
emotional baggage but rather with a clear focus and motive; to win the trophy
for South Africa.
“We know that there is a lot of expectation from back home,”
he said. “There is also expectation from ourselves as well. It’s a wonderful
opportunity to make a big difference, to make South Africa a better place. We
are playing for the bigger picture tomorrow, not just for ourselves, it’s for
the entire nation.”
De Villiers says they have done their preparation on all 15
members of New Zealand’s squad, but would rather place more emphasis on their
own preparation and strengths.
“It would be silly to focus too much on the cricket they
have played because they have played really well,” he said of New Zealand. “I
personally don’t like to focus too much on the opposition. I believe that if we
play to our full potential nobody is going to stop us in this tournament.
“It’s more important for me to get the guys in a good
space; to make sure they are confident
mentally, fresh physically because I know that if we rock up here and play good
cricket we will end up on top.”