Proteas search for early T20 World Cup momentum
Posted by: csa on Saturday, 8 March 2014

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The Blue Label Telecoms Proteas T20 squad enter the KFC T20 International series against Australia in search of important momentum ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 later this month. 


The opening match at Axxess St George's on Sunday is part of an important run of five matches until the Proteas' opening match of the World Cup against Sri Lanka on March 22 in Chittagong.


"The most important thing when it comes to these games ahead of an important tournament like the World Cup is momentum," captain, Faf du Plessis, said on Saturday afternoon. "I feel we are ready to play in the World Cup tomorrow, we have had a good run in the last year and we have had some really good results." 


"Australia is the challenge that is in front of us at the moment, " he continued. " It’s important that we keep our winning ways and keep playing good cricket building up into a tournament like that." 


The Proteas held a lengthy training session on Saturday afternoon on the back of a two-day team-building camp, and know it will be important to adapt to T20 mode as quickly as possible after a month of Test and four-day cricket.


"It’s a very quick turnaround," he said of the change in formats. "The only thing that I was looking to do on the last day of the Test match was to block out the whole day, and that is completely the opposite of what you do in T20 cricket. It’s important for us as a team to switch back into T20 skills at this afternoon's training session. We've had a few days away from cricket, which I think is just as important as a net session." 


The management will look at resting key players coming off a busy Test series, and being extra cautious with the players struggling with niggles. Dale Steyn will receive much needed rest while he recovers from a hamstring strain, with Du Plessis also hinting at resting AB de Villiers and several others. 


"The bigger picture is the World Cup," Du Plessis admitted. "We need to consider giving the key guys who have had a tough Test series a rest in some of the games. Someone like AB has played a lot of cricket and has been non-stop for the last three weeks, with the bat, gloves and on the field. From a player management point of view it’s important to make sure that the World Cup is the focus point." 


Beuran Hendricks and Wayne Parnell have passed their respective fitness tests and will be available for selection. 




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