History favours Proteas

2013-12-05 00:00

PROTEAS One-Day skipper AB de Villiers is undaunted by India’s recent form in the game and is confident his charges will come out with all guns blazing in the first Momentum ODI at the Wanderers today.

India are top of the ICC ODI rankings while the Proteas have slipped to fifth after the recent 2-1 loss to Pakistan.

However, De Villiers is confident that home turf advantage and South Africa’s record against India at home will count in his favour.

“India has won only five of 25 ODI matches against us in South Africa and that counts in our favour,” he said.

“They are used to conditions on the sub-continent and have arrived here before on the back of great success only to battle in the conditions.”

While De Villiers and his men have had a rollercoaster ride in terms of results in the 50-over game, the Indians are riding high, having recently completed wins against Australia and the West Indies.

“In most of those games, the Indian batsmen were chasing down scores well in excess of 300 and winning at a canter with plenty to spare. For that reason, there has been talk of us being underdogs, but I know we will never allow that to happen in our conditions,” he said.

“We have classy players with solid pedigrees and if we play anywhere near to what I know we are capable of, we will be unbeatable in own conditions.”

De Villiers said he had cast an eye over the wicket and it had plenty of grass.

“It should play even for both sides. I’m not too concerned about batting or bowling first, the key is to play good cricket and beat them.”

Although the Proteas had just lost a home series to Pakistan, De Villiers put matters into perspective, saying: “We have won five of our last eight matches and if we can make it seven out of 10, 70%, I will be happy. There is a need to improve though.”

As for India’s bowling attack, De Villiers fired from the hip when giving his thoughts. “Look, they are not the best bowling attack in the world and we want to exploit that,” he said. “They are decent and we cannot underestimate them but, if we don’t lose wickets up front and have wickets in the bank at the back end of the innings, we will take them on.”

It’s a big day today, playing the No. 1 ranked side, at the Wanderers and supporting breast cancer awareness. The Proteas will be playing in pink and De Villiers wants to perform for the occasion.

“We have a good record playing in pink having beaten Pakistan last time around at the same venue. We have the same squad from our last ODI and are playing around with a combination which I cannot comment on.

“Kallis and Steyn are back for today and Philander is 50-50 after injuring his shoulder in training on Tuesday. A call will be made on him today. There are no new names in the squad.”

Commenting on the age old question of looking ahead to the 2015 ICC World Cup, De Villiers was firm on his views.

“I’m not too fond of looking there right now. It’s a hard tournament to win and while we would obviously like to bring the trophy home, we have to deal with what we have on our plate now and get over those hurdles,” he said.

“There are batsmen in the team who can build an innings and those who like to attack. We will build on our partnerships and my mindset today is to have attitude, be proud and have a great body language. We are playing at home, we know the conditions and we will not stand back.”

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