Proteas: It’s all or nothing

2013-06-09 14:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A need a win against Pakistan to have any hope of reaching the semifinals

Crisis management seems to be South Africa’s watchword in preparation for their crucial ICC Champions Trophy clash against Pakistan at Edgbaston tomorrow.

Pakistan did not have the best start to their tournament either, losing to the West Indies by two wickets at The Oval on Friday.

Proteas coach Gary Kirsten, in his last assignment with the team before handing over the reins to Russell Domingo, said an opportunity for renewal beckons. The Proteas will need more than that, though, against an enigmatic Pakistan team.

“I get excited by problems because in that lies opportunities. We can use that as an excuse when we play badly or it could be an opportunity for some new guys to make an impact in one of the best formats in world cricket. It’s as tough a

one-day competition can get in the world,” Kirsten said.

“Some of the guys have yet to hit their straps and we don’t have much time. We have to play well from now onwards. We weren’t on fire the other day against India.”

With Morné Morkel’s tournament over because of a quad muscle injury, Kirsten hinted at replacement Chris Morris getting a start in tomorrow’s match. He also said Dale Steyn, who did not play in the India match because of a side strain, could be available, but that his case was also touch and go.

“We’re hopeful that he can possibly play the next one, but a side strain is a tricky one and we’ll make a call tomorrow,” Kirsten said.

“It’s nice to have Morris here, and he has done well and comes with confidence, which is very important. I told him there was a fair chance he would be playing, and I think that’s exciting for him.”

South Africa may have an unblemished Champions Trophy record against Pakistan, but in the heat of competition that could amount to zero if they do not win.

Defeat will make it almost impossible for the Proteas to reach the semifinals.

In 2006 they got to the semifinals when India hosted the tournament, but their form leading up to the game wasn’t great.

Kirsten recognised the enormity of tomorrow’s game but said they would approach it in a relaxed manner.

“Generally, what we do is that we play very well and then we lose, so it’s not a bad thing that we haven’t fired. I would like to think of that as a bit of an omen. The problem is that you can’t have another bad game because you’ll be out of the competition,” Kirsten said.

“Pakistan is a dangerous team and I maintain they’ve got one of the better bowling units in world cricket. They’ve got great variety in their bowling attack and we saw that in South Africa. We’ve got our areas to exploit, but we need to be on our game.”

»Tshwaku is in the United Kingdom courtesy of Cricket South Africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.