Zimbabwe in SA

Proteas under no illusions

2010-10-21 21:47
Hashim Amla (Gallo Images)
Benoni - With the series against Zimbabwe already wrapped up, the Proteas will go into their final game against the visitors focusing their minds on the forthcoming tour against Pakistan which should prove more of a challenge.

Having established a 2-0 lead, the third match at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday will be used as final preparation for their tour to the United Arab Emirates, which starts on Tuesday.

Hashim Amla, who scored two centuries (both of 110 runs) in his first two one-day knocks against Zimbabwe, said the team were under no illusions about their success.

"We're under no illusions about our performances here. Although it's been a good start for us, we know against Pakistan it won't be anything like this.

"We know how tough it's going to be there, but by the same token we're just trying to get some good form going in the batting and bowling departments.

"It has been a nice start for me. I'm just happy to get some runs and hopefully I can keep up the momentum," he said.

"It's a lovely feeling going into the last game knowing you've actually won the series and the mindset is to try and keep building especially before we go to Pakistan.

"Fortunately, batting-wise, we've done well, but still need to do a bit more work in the bowling department."

On his own performance, the humble batsman said he still had a lot to learn especially in one-day cricket.

"I don't look too far ahead. I'm just enjoying the one-day format as it's still quite new to me. I still feel very amateurish in this format, so every game is a learning experience for me.

"Every game, I try and take something out of it and certainly try and improve my skills. As a batsman, I still have a long way to go and have a lot of shots to develop."

Commenting on the sloppy fielding in the last two matches, Amla said it did not help that the team had come off a long break.

"Fielding is a discipline like batting and bowling, and we're gaining more and more ground with every game.

"We have been a bit sloppy and dropped one or two catches, but we'd rather have it now than during a big series against India or Pakistan or even in the World Cup.

"Yes, we've started slowly, but we're building momentum and that's how we've looked at this series against Zimbabwe.

"We're under no illusion that we're suddenly world-beaters after winning the series against Zimbabwe. We still have some tough times ahead of us against Pakistan who, on any given day, can be world-beaters themselves."

Dale Steyn, and Jacques Kallis are still not fully fit after injuries sustained during the Champions League and it is also unlikely Morne Morkel will be risked with the team departing on Sunday for the United Arab Emirates.

Zimbabwe's captain Elton Chigumbura said they would field their best side on Friday. He was happy with the batting performance, but felt the bowlers needed more practice.

"Our batting has been consistent especially against such a big team like South Africa. We're going in the right direction, but our bowlers need a lot more practice and need to gain more control."

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