We’re no underdogs, say ‘unstoppable’ Proteas ahead of India clash

2013-12-04 17:10

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The Proteas cannot be called underdogs at home, ODI captain AB de Villiers has said.

This despite the team’s fifth place on the International Cricket Council’s ODI rankings compared with India’s top spot.

“Some of the knowledgeable guys will say that we are underdogs but there’s no way we are going to stand back and allow that to happen. There’s no chance whenever we play in South Africa that we can afford to be the underdogs,” De Villiers said.

“I know if we play anything close to our potential, there’s no one in the world that can stop us. That’s the kind of mind-set I want the guys to go into the game with. We need lots of attitude and good body language, remembering that we are playing against a subcontinent team that has a very bad record here in South Africa.”

One thing MS Dhoni’s team does very well is overhaul totals.

This often hides the deficiencies of his bowling attack, which came in for stick in the recent series against Australia.

But that was in different conditions and Dhoni said he expected his bowlers to step up to the plate.

“What’s important is how to exploit the conditions, it’s not about having the best bowling attack. We’ve done pretty well and there have been ups and downs,” Dhoni said.

“Where we have struggled is when there’s been dew on the field and when we’ve played on really flat surfaces, we’ve done well. We are happy with how our attack has bowled so far.”

South Africa’s batting has been one of the key reasons why they were not able to win the home ODI series against Pakistan.

Dhoni shied away from jibing the Proteas’ weakness, preferring to focus on what his team can do.

“We would like them to continue with the same form but that’s not in our hands and they’ll definitely have their own plans. What we are working on is our own batting strength,” Dhoni said.

“If you don’t have bowlers who bowl at 140-plus kilometres, at no point can you think about pace and bounce. If we can swing the ball, we’ll make the most of the conditions.”

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