Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis has announced that the Proteas have their eyes set on their World Cup opener against Zimbabwe in Hamilton on February 15.
However, before they can think about Zimbabwe, South Africa have to concentrate on their second warm-up match against New Zealand.
“We have played quite a lot of cricket in the last month or so, we are ready to play now,” du Plessis said. “It’s difficult to get yourself motivated with these warm-up games as you would do in a normal one-day international.
“The nice thing is that we haven’t really tried to be intense about it because we do understand that it’s quite a long tournament, mentally you need to be fresh throughout the competition.
“Yesterday was quite low-key, it was like a practice session for us. But, to get over the line and to do all the things we did yesterday was good practice.
“With New Zealand tomorrow, we will play with a little bit more intensity because it is getting closer to that first match but we will still gradually build it up.”
Du Plessis also noted that New Zealand will provide the South African bowling line-up with an ample opportunity to practice their death bowling.
“Hopefully we get an opportunity to get some match intensity going,” he said. “Whether it’s bowling at the death, or [whether] we get another situation where we are chasing.
“It’s difficult to get match intensity, but if we can get a match situation where we can learn something, that will be good. Hopefully New Zealand can put us in a position where we can learn something from the game and take it into our first opener.”
Du Plessis also admitted that the Proteas are raring to get their World Cup campaign underway after having prepared for almost a year.
“It’s taken so long,” he said. “The build-up to the World Cup has almost been a year. We are very excited as a team, we are ready, we have played a lot of cricket and we just want to get going now. The important thing that we are doing really well at the moment is that we are not looking too much into these warm-up games. All our focus is geared up towards that first game against Zimbabwe.”