Cape Town - If the Proteas play to their ability, they have a good chance of being successful at the upcoming Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, all-rounder JP Duminy believes.
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Duminy spoke to Sport24 at the launch of the Proteas' World Cup squad at the V&A Waterfront on Wednesday.
When asked what he believed the team should bring to the table in an attempt to break their duck at World Cup events, Duminy responded: "I don’t think it's anything special that we need to bring. It’s just being consistent when the time comes and when it matters.
"Obviously the round-robin games are important, but the knockout stage is where you need to bring your 'A game' and if we can produce 80 or 90 percent of what we are capable of we’ll definitely give ourselves a chance in that knockout phase."
The Proteas lost their most recent one-day series 4-1 to Australia abroad, but Duminy believes the result won't have much bearing on the team's fortunes at the World Cup.
"In a knockout tournament, what’s happened in the past, doesn’t really count," said Duminy. "Yes, it would have been nice to have won that series. You take a little bit more confidence maybe into a game against Australia. But, you know, when it comes to the crunch time, you’re not going to rely on what has happened before, you’re going to rely on what you know, how you assess conditions immediately, what you’re up against and trying to counter that.
"And that’s going to be the main focus for us, just making sure that we focus on one game at a time. And it’s got to start on the 15th of February against Zimbabwe, and taking it game by game, so that’s the plan."
The Proteas have often come unstuck chasing down targets in big games - something Duminy admitted is tough to achieve under pressure.
"Look, in a knockout situation, with anything on the board, there’s going to be butterflies in your stomach regarding what the situation of the game is. The game is on the line when it’s the knockout stage. You've got to produce the big performances. You've got to stand up and man up to what's in front of you."
The Proteas can take heart from two triangular series games they played against Australia in Zimbabwe last year, when they comfortably chased down a mammoth 328 winning target as well as 218 in the final.
The team batted well under pressure against a formidable opponent.
Duminy said it helped boost their confidence but insisted they would rather focus on the present.
“Yes we would have (taken confidence from those games). But it’s the same now playing against Australia in Australia. I don’t think we’re going to draw too much from what has happened in the past. It’s about staying in the moment and making sure that we focus on what the job at hand is at that present time," concluded Duminy.
The 2015 Cricket World Cup runs from February 14-March 29.
Proteas World Cup squad:
AB de Villiers (Titans, captain), Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras, vice-captain), Kyle Abbott (Dolphins), Farhaan Behardien (Titans), Quinton de Kock (Highveld Lions), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Faf du Plessis (Titans), Imran Tahir (Dolphins), David Miller (Dolphins), Morne Morkel (Titans), Wayne Parnell (Warriors), Aaron Phangiso (Highveld Lions), Vernon Philander (Cape Cobras), Rilee Rossouw (Knights), Dale Steyn (Cape Cobras)