Proteas to respect India

Russell Domingo (Gallo Images)
Russell Domingo (Gallo Images)

Melbourne - Proteas coach, Russell Domingo, says Sunday’s highly anticipated ICC Cricket World Cup match against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will be treated with the same respect as any international.

The match has generated a buzz of interest and hype from the media and fans in Melbourne, with the 90 000-seater stadium expected to be filled to capacity.

"I’ve always said over the last year that every game you play for South Africa is a big game, that’s how we want to approach it," Domingo said to the media on Thursday before an intense practice.

"We know that there is always a lot of hype when India are in town, they have massive support and some really big players in their side. We are not seeing it as a high profile game, every game we play is.

"We are treating it very much in the same way that we would treat every other game.”

The coach says that although India has never beaten South Africa in a World Cup match, past history will count for nothing as both teams look to gain momentum in Group B which also features West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"We haven’t really thought about it,” he said of the psychological advantage.

"We are just focusing hard on our preparations.

"I haven’t thought too much on whether we have a psychological advantage over India. India are the current world champions and are a wonderful one-day side.

"Whatever has happened in the past in previous World Cups will count for very little when we play here on Sunday.”

The Proteas’ preparation has been boosted by the behind-the-scenes addition of former Australian batsman, Mike Hussey, who has been brought in to share his mental and tactical nous along with his in-depth knowledge of local conditions.  

"His presence alone is a plus for us," Domingo said of Hussey.

"He is a guy that has won a World Cup as a player and has been in pressure situations in Australia and has played in these conditions for a long period of time.

"His presence alone will be a big form of motivation for our players.

"He is known as a thoughtful cricketer, plans meticulously about his personal game and hopefully some of the things he has learnt playing in competitions like this can be passed on to some of our players."

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