Proteas mentally strong ahead of World Cup, says coach

Chasing the elusive ICC Cricket World Cup title, Proteas coach Russell Domingo says his team are mentally strong enough to bring it home.

“We’re not taking a mental conditioning coach. I’ve tried to approach this World Cup in the same way as any other series,” Domingo said at the team’s official send-off in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

“Why create the anxiety when we’ve been playing so well without it?”

South Africa used the services of a mental coach during the previous World Cup in 2011, but Domingo was confident his charges would be able to perform in pressure situations without one at the showpiece event in Australia and New Zealand starting on February 14.

The Proteas were fresh from a comprehensive 4-1 home series win over the West Indies, but performing on the bigger stage would be about winning each individual game, Domingo said.

“We’re going to have to win one-off games. I really feel this team is in as good a space mentally as they’ve ever been.

“They’ve won games in high-pressure situations under different conditions at different venues. They’ve got a real pride in their performance and they’re passionately led by a captain who plays with his heart on his sleeve.

“All the blocks are in place to see we overcome all those challenges.”

Mixed results
South Africa have had mixed results leading into the tournament, losing 4-1 to hosts Australia in a five-match one-day international series in November before beating the Windies at home.

Proteas captain AB de Villiers said his players accepted the responsibility of representing their country and meeting the high expectations of their supporters.

“The individual performances are driven by the team. Yes, we’re feeling pressure and there’s no hiding from that,” De Villiers said.

“We’ve never won the World Cup and it’s definitely something counting against us – people call us chokers and we have to deal with that.

“We just have to stick together as a team and win those pressure situations and games.”

De Villiers felt a strong performance at the World Cup would help unite the nation.

“We’re going there to bring the World Cup home, there’s no doubt about it.

“Thinking about the 1995 Rugby World Cup and Bafana winning Afcon in 1996, its about uniting the nation and winning it for our country.”

Aussie influence
Domingo confirmed reports that former Australian middle-order batsman Michael Hussey would be brought into the Proteas set-up during the tournament.

“We’ve had some discussions with Mike Hussey about him joining us on a consultancy process.

“He’s a middle-order batter of immense experience and knows conditions very well in Australia. He’ll play a very low-key role in the background.”

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was in attendance at the team send-off and had a clear message of inspiration for the Proteas.

“March on you skilful warriors with De Villiers and [Hashim] Amla in your vanguard,” Mbalula said.

“There are over 50-million people in your rearguard … In your veins flows the blood of African warriors … Your time has come to conquer the world stage of cricket.”

Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee confirmed that Vernon Philander, Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy had all come through their fitness tests adequately ahead of their departure.

South Africa were scheduled to leave for New Zealand on Wednesday and play their first warm-up game against Sri Lanka in Christchurch on Monday February 9. – Sapa

Michael Sherman
Michael Sherman works from Knoxville, TN. Associate Professor of Religious Studies (Hebrew Bible and Ancient Judaism; Critical Animal Studies; American Religious History) Michael Sherman has over 157 followers on Twitter.
Advertisting

Workers’ R60m ‘lost’ in banks scam

An asset manager, VBS Mutual Bank and a Namibian bank have put the retirement funds of 26 000 municipal workers in South Africa at risk

‘Judge President Hlophe tried to influence allocation of judges to...

Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath accuses Hlophe of attempting to influence her to allocate the case to judges he perceived as ‘favourably disposed’ to former president Jacob Zuma

SAA grounds flights due to low demand

SAA is working to accommodate customers on its sister airlines after it cancelled flights due to low demand

Lekwa municipality won’t answer questions about why children died in...

Three children are dead. More than a dozen homes have been gutted by fires in the past six months. And, as...
Advertising

Press Releases

Mint Group unveils Finance and Operations business

ERP specialist Andre Pearce will spearhead the Mint ERP business.

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.