The prospect of a 4-1 series win is the chief motivation for the Castle Lager Proteas ahead of the fifth and final ODI against Pakistan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday. The Proteas lead the series 3-1, and are committed to finishing the tour strongly, with the aim of building up some of the winning momentum and consistency which has been lacking in the past year.
" We want to finish well," captain, AB de Villiers said after training. " The series against Sri Lanka was disappointing for all of us but like I said before I'm proud of the way we fought back here, its a good sign of the team we can become. A 4-1 series win here will be a positive step in the right direction."
The performance in the fourth ODI in Abu Dhabi gave an indication of team's potential when all departments fire, a synergy that has been lacking for this young squad. De Villiers hinted at the possibility of testing out some new combinations, which would mean resting some of the players who have had a heavy workload on this tour.
" Its a difficult one," he said of the player rotation. " Some of the players have performed really well, but at the end of the day its a team sport. It's important for us to look at some other combinations and to give a few guys that haven't played in a while some game time."
"Im very proud of the way the boys performed on Friday, especially after a disappointing performance in the second ODI, " he added. "I thought it was an all-round team performance, there were so many individual performances that stood out but in the end it was a team performance. I'm proud of the way we are playing cricket at the moment and we'd like to continue with that in tomorrow's game even though the series has been decided."
A 4-1 series victory would be the Proteas' biggest win since beating New Zealand 3-0 in March last year.