AB de Villiers says South Africa have moved on from their defeat to Pakistan and still believe they are the best team at the World Cup.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference, De Villiers said his team’s confidence were still high despite losing their two biggest matches of the pool stage against India and Pakistan respectively.
‘We’ve moved on from the last game. It’s past tense now. We’ve taken our learning from it, and it’s all positive from here on in. I still feel very confident. I 100 percent believe we’re the best team in the tournament here. Those two losses in the group stages did hurt us a bit and did hurt me a bit, but we’re past that now.
‘We’ve taken our learning and we know we could have won that games. We weren’t that far off. I’m all about confidence going into this tournament, all positive chat from now on in. We know we’re very close to… well, a few games away from taking that World Cup home. For now the most important game is tomorrow, but we know we’re not far off, so it’s important to be positive and still believe that we’re the best.’
De Villiers also denied they had a problem chasing targets, despite losing the only two games where they were asked to bat second.
‘It’s not an issue to be honest with you. I believe we can chase down any total. There’s no special strategy, no. We’ve got to do the basics well. We’ve got good key points and plays that we want to follow throughout the World Cup. We didn’t get it right in the chases that we didn’t play well in, and as long as we get those right, then I truly believe we can chase down anything. It’s not a problem.
‘We’ve done it in the last year a few times under pressure. We didn’t get it right in the last couple of chases, and that’s all right. I’m still confident in the batting unit. I believe there are a few guys due for big runs, and it’s going to happen soon, at the right time.’
South Africa were touted as one of the favourites going into the World Cup, and few would have predicted the struggles they endured so far. Certainly no-one expected them to lose two of their pool matches, but De Villiers said they never expected to win all their games.
‘No, we didn’t expect to be five from five. The World Cup is a funny tournament. You’ve got to take whatever comes your way, and we’ve had a rocky road, but I guess if you look at the standings at the moment, we win the last game, we’ll be in a good position to go with a lot of confidence into the quarters. Yes, we would have liked to win those two games, the two big games against India and Pakistan.
‘It didn’t happen that way, and there’s no time to sulk about that now. It’s a really important stage of our World Cup moving forward. Now it’s important to be confident, and I still want the boys to believe we’re the best, which we are. We’re just going to go in with that kind of attitude in tomorrow’s game, and then whatever comes around for the quarters, we’ll take it head on.’