ICC Champions Trophy

Proteas to face England

2013-06-18 06:38
Proteas (AFP)
Cape Town - The Proteas will be sticking to their tried and tested methods as they prepare for their ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against England at The Oval on Wednesday.

England finished top of Group A after Sri Lanka beat Australia by 20 runs at The Oval on Monday. India, winners of Group B, will play Sri Lanka in the second semi-final in Cardiff on Thursday.

The Proteas squad had two low-key training sessions at Dulwich College since arriving in London on Saturday, and have been focusing on improving their skills in preparation for the unexpected.

Seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe said on Monday that the team was “minding its own business” as they continued to put in the final touches leading into the match. 

“It doesn’t feel any different,” Tsotsobe said of the mood in the camp. “We know it’s a semi-final and it’s the big stage, but the boys are still in the same mindset that they had during the group matches. Every match there was a big game so nothing has changed.”

The absence of Dale Steyn in the first two matches of the tournament gave Tsotsobe the extra responsibility as the frontline bowler of the attack, and as the tournament has progressed he has shown that he can thrive under the added pressure.

“I think it’s always a good thing to have responsibility on your shoulders,” he explained. “You know that there are people looking out for you, people who are backing you to lead and I think it was a good move for me.” 

Tsotsobe says he has had to change his game plan for the conditions in the UK, one aspect being a packed bag of variations.

“I think my greatest weapon is my slower ball and my bouncer,” he said of his artillery. “I have worked harder on my slower balls but I have tried another type recently so that my game plan doesn’t become too predictable.”


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