'Chilled' Proteas depart for India

2016-03-10 11:44
Russell Domingo (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - A "chilled" Proteas squad departs for India on Thursday looking to win South Africa's first major trophy at the ICC World Twenty20 since their ICC Knockout Trophy triumph in 1998.

The preparation is complete, the plans are in place ... though there are still one or two key decisions to be made ... and all that is left is for the Proteas to do the business. 

As is always the case when the Proteas leave for a major tournament, there is an air of expectation that comes from the cricket-loving public. 

Not for the first time, the Proteas arrive at the tournament looking like a side capable of beating anybody. 

They are littered with potential match-winners, and they are due a success on the biggest stage. 

The departure from Cape Town International airport on Thursday was set to be low-key, and it appears that the Proteas are trying their best to fly under the radar of expectation.

"We’re all pretty chilled," coach Russell Domingo offered after his side's series loss to Australia on Wednesday night.

"Our build-up has been good and we’ve played a good brand of cricket leading up to the tournament.

"I don’t think there’s a weight of expectation around our team or any of the teams because in this format anyone of those top sides can be victorious at the end."

There is a quiet confidence that exists within this group ... but that would have been the case going into all of the World Cups the Proteas have played in since re-admission. 

"It’s going to happen at some stage … there’s no doubt," Domingo said of South Africa's chances of being crowned world champions in one of the limited-overs formats.

"We’ve got a group of players that is good enough to win the event and we go there confident that we’ve played well under those conditions.

"We know we’ll be one of the teams to beat there … there’s no doubt about that."

The key to success is to keep it simple, says Domingo.

"You can’t get too fancy, you can’t get too funky," the coach said.

"You’ve got to do the basics well and I suppose we’ve lost these last two games (against Australia) because we haven’t done the basics well.

"There is no rocket science and there’s no magic wand to wave over the side … the side that does the basics well in tight contests and high-pressure games, nine out of 10 times is the side that comes out on top."

Domingo added that while he was pleased with the way his side had chased down totals in recent matches, there was room for improvement when looking to defend.

"We need to defend a score … that is a bit of a concern for me," he said.

"We need to find ways of scrapping and keeping sides under constant pressure ... that is something that we need to look at."

The Proteas are grouped alongside Sri Lanka, West Indies and England in Group B of the tournament, as well as a yet-to-be-determined 'minnow' qualifier.

They take on England on March 18 in their tournament opener. 


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