• Abbott plays down AB absence

    AB de Villiers should be ready to face New Zealand in a World Cup warm-up match on Wednesday after he missed the game against Sri Lanka with a stiff hip.

    According to Protea fast bowler Kyle Abbott, there are no concerns about De Villiers’ fitness.

    ‘AB should be ready to face New Zealand. He will see the physio first, but it’s nothing serious. He probably just had a bad nights sleep at a weird angle,’ said Abbott.

    He was speaking after South Africa beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in their first of two warm-up games before the World Cup starts this weekend.

    The Proteas chased 188 from 25 overs according to the Duckworth/Lewis-method, after rain interrupted proceedings.

    Abbott took 3-37 as all the bowlers got a chance to get use the windy and wet conditions, weather that South Africa will very likely be subjected to again in the tournament.

    ‘It was nice to get a few wickets under the belt. It was also good for our preparations. We are still recovering from jet lag so it was important to get a few overs in and find our feet.

    ‘Building confidence and getting wickets is great. I thought all the bowlers did pretty well, especially against the wind which was tough,’ said Abbott.

    He admitted that they went into the game without strategising too much.

    ‘We went into it with a fairly open mind. It was a competitive match, which is good for us because warm-up games can sometimes drift. We wanted to win as much as any other game, which is good considering that we were happy to come in and get some game-time under the belt.’

    South Africa had to contend with some strong winds while fielding, but it will stand them in good stead later on in the tournament.

    ‘Personally, as a bowler, you feel like you have to run harder because you’re not getting to the crease, which is the worst thing you can do.

    ‘The wind is going to slow you down, so the guy bowling from the other end with the wind becomes so much more important.¬†Bowling in partnerships will be crucial for us.’

    Abbott also backed himself to bowl at the end of the innings, something that the Proteas have struggled with for a long time.

    ‘I see myself as the go-to guy after Dale (Steyn). I like that type of situation. I have put myself out there. I want those overs and it is something I enjoy. I do a lot of work off the field. I put myself under pressure, but I have put my head around the fact that I am going to concede runs.

    ‘I know it will eventually fall in my favour, and then I will be a hero.’