Cape Town - South Africa under-19s batting coach, Siyabonga Sibiya, is happy that the team is in a good frame of mind and is focused on their task at hand as they prepare to take on India in the first match of the Youth One-Day International (ODI) Quadrangular series in Chatsworth on Friday.
The four-team series also features New Zealand and Zimbabwe and will take place at the Chatsworth Oval and the Kingsmead Cricket Ground between January 3 - 9. The teams involved will use these encounters to sharpen their skills before the ICC under-19 Cricket World Cup set to be hosted in South Africa, kicking off on the 17th of January.
During the pre-match interview, Sibiya emphasized the importance of the team taking the confidence gained from the last game, where the SA U19s recorded a five-wicket victory over India in the third Youth ODI in East London, into this match.
“The team is in a good space,” the assistant coach said. “We still understand the processes we need to follow and keep building from the last ODI. The belief factor is the main thing. The guys do believe that we are not just here to compete with them, we can beat them and hopefully going forward that can be what happens.
“It’s not about neutralizing them. It’s about doing what we need to do, taking care of our spaces, managing our processes and KPI’s (Key Performance Index) as a batting, bowling and fielding unit,” Sibiya added.
Despite finishing on a positive note in the third match, the junior Proteas lost the opening two clashes of the bilateral series at the Buffalo Park stadium by nine and eight wickets, respectively. India’s Yashasvi Jaiswal was named as the Player of the Series following his six wickets and 105 runs, including 89 not out in the second Youth ODI.
Sibiya believes India will come back fighting and has called on his players to keep their attention on their own game, rather than the opponents.
“We can’t look too much at what they do but we have to focus on what we do well, as the SA u19s side. Yes, they are going to come hard (at us), but at the end of the day, they are under-19s, our boys are under-19s. They are human, we are human.
“At the end of the day, the better side will win,” he continued.
Following the first match on Friday, the SA U19s will take on New Zealand at the Chatsworth Oval on Sunday before ending off the round-robin stage against Zimbabwe on Tuesday at Kingsmead.
Captain, Bryce Parsons expects a competitive series against the teams they will potentially come up against during the World cup and hopes to use their knowledge of the grounds and conditions to their favour.
“All the nations coming to the World Cup are going to be good. We are just going to keep focusing on ourselves, stick to our processes and the results will follow.
“We’ve played here before, obviously we didn’t get the results we wanted but we know how the wicket plays and how the outfield works, so we are just going to take as much knowledge from the previous series and put it into this Quadrangular.
“We are excited but we just going to look forward to this next game here at Chatsworth and put the performances in that we need,” Parsons concluded.
In the other match on Friday, it will be eighth versus 11th according to where they placed in the 2018 World Cup, as New Zealand and Zimbabwe face off at Kingsmead.
- Cricket SA