Preview: Can South Africa shed chokers tag?

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Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 10:55 [IST]
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Preview: Can Proteas shed chokers tag?

Hambantota, Sep 19: South Africa, without any global trophy in their cabinet, will once again attempt to correct that record when they open campaign against Zimbabwe in ICC World Twenty20 2012 here on Thursday night.

AB de Villiers-captained side has players suited for this format. They can believe in themselves and go all the way to the final. Their first opponents in Group C, Zimbabwe are already heading towards elimination after being mesmerised by Ajantha Mendis on the opening night of the tournament.

South Africa's batting will rely on De Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Richard Levi and Albie Morkel. With Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel set to run in hard and bowl with lot pace, there is trouble for Zimbabwe.

If it was trial by spin on Tuesday at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, this time Zimbabwe batsmen will be subjected to pace and bounce.

If Zimbabwe lose his match at the same venue, they will pack their bags and head home.

South Africa have been branded as "chokers" in the past. But this time, skipper De Villiers is confident that they leave history behind and perform well.

"I am going to be very honest with you, and I am going to put it up straight up front, we have choked in the past and we know about it. We have had some really bad experiences in the past. But I emphasise the word past. We have come with a new look in this team and we have worked hard with our new management team that has given us a lot of energy and new ideas," De Villiers was quoted by Sports24.

"So, we will approach this tournament differently and we like to win in pressure situations and we are going to do exactly that. We are prepared and excited to take the field," he said.

After that humiliating 82-run loss against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor said: "It is a tough pill to swallow. We are a far better side than what we showed today. Credit goes to Sri Lanka. They showed why they are one of the favourites to win the tournament. We got to bounce back. We have played enough cricket to go back from today, rethink, have a good look, start training and come back a better side."

Taylor's words of "bouncing back" have to come true on Thursday or else they will be heading back home.


South Africa: AB de Villiers (captain and wicketkeeper), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Johan Botha, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Jacques Kallis, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (captain and wicketkeeper), Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura, Craig Ervine, Graeme Cremer, Ray Price, Kyle Jarvis, Chris Mpofu, Richard Muzhange, Brian Vitori, Prosper Utseya, Forster Mutizwa.

Umpires: Steve Davis (Australia) and Richard Kettleborough (England)

Third umpire: Ian Gould (England)

Fourth umpire: Rod Tucker (Australia)

Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (New Zealand)

Match starts 7.30 PM IST

Catch live ball by ball commentary, regular updates, reports here on www.thatscricket.com


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