Photo Credit: BCCI
Proteas batter David Miller has warned his team that they should be wary of dangerous Pakistan as the two sides prepare for a crunch ICC Men’s T20 World Cup showdown at the SCG in Sydney on Thursday.
Victory for South Africa will assure them a place in next week’s semi-finals, whilst at the same time knock Pakistan out of the competition.
Temba Bavuma’s undefeated team are presently second in Group 2 of the Super 12 stages with five points from three games, one behind leaders India. Bangladesh (four points) are third, followed by Zimbabwe (three), Pakistan and the Netherlands (both two).
“We all know that every game at the World Cup is a big game and Pakistan are always a team that you need to face with your A-game. Just making sure we stick to our processes and things that have worked in the past is what we need to do tomorrow. They are a great team and have some serious match-winners but we’ll be up for it.”
The Proteas stunned India in the previous game to put themselves in a strong position to reach the last four. Some of their top-order batters failed in that game, bringing other players lower down the order into play. Miller was one of those who shone and the big-hitting star conceded that South Africa was not a one-player team.
“I suppose we are finding lots of ways to win,” he explained. “We’ve done it over a period of time now, probably the last year when we found ourselves in tricky situations and managed to get over the line. I think the continuity of the squad over time, guys have managed to find their roles, if one guy isn’t doing well then another guy picks up the slack.
“It’s difficult to be successful in this format due to all the variables but we’ve managed to do well and play as a team. Everyone is really putting in the hard work as a team because going into a competition such as this, you will need one or two games where you need your all-rounders and lower order to contribute.”
The fast bowlers played a key hand in the win over the Indians when they restricted one of the pre-tournament favourites to a total of just over 130. Miller says the performances of their pacemen were a massive plus for the squad.
He continued: “Yeah (it definitely breeds confidence). Especially being in Australia where our pace attack has done great things over the years. Like I said over the years, the squad’s come into their own especially as a bowling unit, the guys are bowling with great energy, a lot of pace and that’s what we need here in Australia. We also have Marco (Jansen) on the bench, which is great. So yeah, the guys are in a good space, we need to stick to the process and stay in the moment.”
Pakistan has a strong spin attack lead by Shadab Khan, which might have been a concern for the Proteas in the past. But this time around, Miller believes they are prepared.
“We’ve done well playing against both India and Pakistan in their conditions the last couple of years,” he added. “As a squad we’ve focused a lot on playing spin during this period. The guys have definitely prepared well. So, it’s something we’re aware off but the guys definitely have the skills to perform against the Pakistan spinners. We’re definitely up for it, we are taking it one game at a time. Yes, we are in a great position on the table but there’s still a lot to do.”
South Africa squad – ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2022
Temba Bavuma (captain, DP World Lions), Quinton de Kock (Momentum Multiply Titans), Reeza Hendricks (DP World Lions), Marco Jansen (Gbets Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Momentum Multiply Titans), David Miller (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Gbets Warriors), Wayne Parnell (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Kagiso Rabada (DP World Lions), Rilee Rossouw (ITEC Knights), Tabraiz Shamsi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Tristan Stubbs (Gbets Warriors).
South Africa Group Stage Itinerary
Monday, 24 October – 19:00 (10:00 SAST)
South Africa vs Zimbabwe ended in a no result – Bellerive Oval, Hobart
Thursday, 27 October – 14:00 (05:00 SAST)
South Africa beat Bangladesh by 104 runs – SCG, Sydney
Sunday, 30 October – 19:00 (13:00 SAST)
South Africa beat India by five wickets – Perth Stadium, Perth
Thursday, 03 November – 19:00 (10:00 SAST)
Pakistan vs South Africa – SCG, Sydney
Sunday, 06 November – 10:30 (02:00 SAST)
South Africa vs Netherlands – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide