Proteas set for crucial India clash

Anrich Nortje is pleased with the way the Proteas have so far performed at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as he looks forward to a crucial match three against India in Perth on Sunday.

South Africa recovered from a disappointing no result in the opening game against Zimbabwe where the Hobart rain denied them what looked to be a certain win to thump Bangladesh by a record 104 runs in match two in Sydney.

Those two results have left them in second place on the Group 2 table ahead of the clash with the formidable Indians.

Speaking to the media ahead of the game at Perth Stadium, Nortje conceded that there was little room for further slip-ups by the Proteas.

He said: “Obviously the first game didn’t go according to plan. We came so close but the weather meant it ended as a no result. It was so tight.

“Hopefully now after that second game we can continue the momentum and take it into the next few games. It’s important to try and get the results when we do have the opportunity to play.

“The weather has played its part so far, but we can’t worry too much about that. All we can do is focus on what we need to do and make sure we do it.”

South Africa’s bowling attack is amongst the best at the World Cup and Nortje acknowledged they had a formidable pack. But he was more impressed with the way the batsmen had performed after Quinton de Kock blazed an unbeaten 47 in the first match and then struck a half century, while Rilee Rossouw recorded an impeccable ton in match two.

“I think the guys have been batting very well,” he stated. “We’ve had some very good starts and the team has really been sticking to their game.

“Everyone has been following the plans that we’ve worked at during training. It’s just about executing and we’ve done that so far. So I think the team’s really stuck well to our philosophy and our structure of how to go about things and hopefully we can continue like we have been going so far.”

At the World Cup last year, the Proteas agonisingly missed out on a place in the semi-finals on net run-rate. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the team, but 12 months on and Nortje feels the time might be right to challenge for the top prize.

“I think we’ve probably been saying it for the last two seasons now,” he added. “Last year we lost one game at the World Cup and we were out of it. That was also a close game. I think we have a really good team, the guys have been together now for such a long time, everyone knows where they fit it.

“One or two guys come in and they fit into the roles that are open or where they can add value by bringing something different. All in all, I think everyone understands their place and what to do on the day, we’ve been gelling well. Hopefully we can win the World Cup this time.”

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