Allan Donald says no-one will disrespect Zimbabwe at the World Cup.
The Proteas face their northern neighbours in their opening World Cup group match on Sunday, but Donald doesn’t buy into the idea that the so-called minnows in the tournament will struggle.
‘No-one will disrespect Zimbabwe. There will be an upset by a minnow along the way. It’s a very open World Cup. You can’t take any team lightly,’ Donald said at a press conference on Friday.
‘It’s important that we find the right time to peak. Hamilton Masakadza will be a key player for Zimbabwe, but we have prepared really well. We know we are going to face a lot of spin. Zimbabwe are a tough, gritty team who never goes away. We are very eager to get on with it now.’
Donald also expects his bowling unit to bowl teams out in the tournament.
He made the point that South Africa have been consistent in bowling teams out in the last couple of years.
‘There’s no doubt about that. Obviously there have been a blip or two, but I expect us to bowl teams out.
‘Getting wickets up front in the powerplay will be massive for everyone, not just us. We have to get the ball to swing and reverse swing. That’s crucial for us.’
Spearhead Dale Steyn didn’t bowl in the final warm-up match against New Zealand, and Donald confirmed that he was rested to make sure he was fresh for Zimbabwe.
‘Everyone is fine and ready to go. We want Dale to be fresh for the first game and that’s why he didn’t play.’
The only injury concern in the squad is Farhaan Behardien, who suffered a tight lower back injury in training. A call on his availability will be made closer to the match.
According to Donald, the bowlers will have to keep on attacking opposition batsmen throughout an innings.
‘Momentum is such a massive thing in the World Cup, but we can’t look too far ahead.’
The Proteas face Zimbabwe at 03:00 South African time on Sunday.