ICC Champions Trophy

AB: Proteas a tough team

2013-06-05 22:43
AB de Villiers (Getty Images)
Cardiff - The Proteas begin their quest for ICC silverware when they take on India in the opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy at Sophia Gardens on Thursday.

In Wednesday's pre-match press conference, Proteas captain, AB de Villiers says the team will be riding on their experiences from Amsterdam and the workout against Pakistan for the tournament opener.

"We come here as a tough team," De Villiers said.

"Mentally we feel ready and we feel strong. I think the other thing that is very good is to have walked into a very good Pakistan team on a wicket that did a bit in the morning.

"All of the bowlers had a nice work through, it was really good.

"It’s not a bad thing to lose those warm up games," he added.

"It's a bit of a wake up call; it reminds us that this is the time to go. We're in the big tournament now.

"There is no more room for error. But having said that, we got out of it what we wanted, so I was very pleased with that."

Some of the Proteas will have crossed paths with the majority of India’s players during the IPL, an advantage the Proteas will look to exploit.

"It definitely helps from a strategy point of view to have played with a few guys in the past, we get a lot of the information from the other guys that played with them on other teams as well.

"I don't think there are any ups or downs for both teams. We all know our games, we know the individuals, we know what everyone's capable of.

"It's a matter of playing together as a team tomorrow and the best team will come out on top," he concluded.

The Proteas have only played three matches at Sophia Gardens, with one win and two rained-out fixtures.

Dale Steyn remains doubtful for the match, with a decision on his availability to be made early on Thursday morning as he continues to receive intensive treatment for a side strain sustained in the match against Pakistan.

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