Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa all-rounder JP Duminy has said that his side cannot afford to be overconfident heading into their Champions Trophy opener against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
The Proteas whitewashed Sri Lanka 5-0 in January-February this year, but despite this, Duminy pointed out that the sub-continent nation will pose a serious threat as they will no doubt be eager to avenge their loss to South Africa in the five-match ODI series.
Furthermore, like South Africa, Sri Lanka will also be aiming to get their Champions Trophy campaign off on the right foot in order to avoid being under pressure when they take on India and Pakistan on June 8 and 12 respectively.
“What has happened in the past is in the past,” Duminy said. “It is a knock-out game, every game you play is a knock-out game. Yes, we have done reasonably well against them a couple of months ago but both teams come into the tournament with a clean slate.
“It’s about performing on the day; we have to make sure we play our best cricket and focus on our processes which is going to be key.”
Duminy also admitted that South Africa are well prepared for the competition, especially as they had the opportunity to get accustomed to the conditions in England when they took on the hosts in a three-match ODI series last month.
Even though the Proteas lost the series 2-1, Duminy conceded that it gave his side a good idea of what to expect going into the tournament.
“We are ready for the tournament,” the 33-year-old said. “We’ve had a good 10 days of preparation, it wasn’t the ideal result in the one-day series, but that is in the past and our full focus is on what is ahead.
“We took quite a bit out of it. The timing of the series was perfect in terms of preparation going into the Champions Trophy. Adapting to conditions, understanding what is good and what is not in terms of batting and bowling in these kind of conditions.
“It’s that time of the year where you are getting into the heart of summer. There are certain wickets around the country that are good for batting but the wickets that we played on had a little bit for the bowlers, especially Lord’s where the first hour-and-a-half had a Test match feel to it. It will be interesting to see how conditions go throughout the tournament, weather-permitting.”