Losing the warm-up games was a wake-up call, says AB

Losing the warm-up games was a wake-up call, says AB

Things haven’t been moving in the right direction for South Africa as they prepare to take on a confident India in the Champions Trophy opener here on Thursday. The defeat to Pakistan in a warm-up game and injuries threaten to mar their campaign. Skipper AB de Villiers, however, exuded confidence that the Proteas will overcome the hurdles.  

“I think they're probably a team that's adapted better to the conditions,” said de Villiers talking about team’s contrasting preparations. India have won both their warm-up matches convincingly. “Both the teams (Australia and India on Tuesday) were in trouble early on and India just had that skill to adapt and to assess conditions earlier.

I think Australia were under quite a bit of pressure to score at more than six runs an over from the start. And they probably didn't respect the new ball enough in the first 10 or 15 overs.

I didn't see the game at all. All we got were the scores, but I saw both teams as being under pressure early on and India adapting a bit quicker. So, obviously, we'll put a bit of emphasis on the first 15 overs of the game. With the bat in hand, try and get the foundation and let the bowlers be very attacking,” he elaborated.

South Africa spent some time in the Netherlands before their loss to Pakistan on Monday. “There is no reason whatsoever to be over-positive coming into England,” he said when asked if the team was a bit over-confident. “We haven't spent a lot of time yet as yet. The Netherlands game was just for team building, getting mentally in a good space and tougher than anything else... Not really high or positive,” he pointed out.

De Villiers continued. “We come here as a tough team. Mentally we feel ready and we feel strong. I think the other thing that is very good is to have walked into a very good Pakistan team. It was really good. It was not a bad thing to lose those warm-up games. It's a bit of a wake-up call for all of us to remind us that this is the time to go. We're in the big tournament now, no more room for error. But having said that, we got out of it what we wanted. So I was very pleased with that.”

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