Proteas captain Temba Bavuma vowed Sunday his team will come out with all guns blazing in their T20 World Cup opener in Australia.
South Africa have a poor record in global events, never winning a World Cup or reaching a final in either short-ball format. They failed to make the T20 World Cup semi-finals a year ago on net run rate.
Bavuma’s side meets resurgent qualifier Zimbabwe in an all-African clash in Hobart on Monday to get their campaign under way with the pressure on.
But he said they were up for the challenge.
“We have Zimbabwe as our opening game. There, everything that we’ve spoken about in our meetings and our preparation, we’ll be looking to execute them as well as we can,” he said.
“We obviously want to start on a positive note. We don’t want to kind of ease ourselves into the tournament. There really is no time to do that.
“Tomorrow will really be an opportunity for us to execute our skills and our plans accordingly.”
Bavuma himself is desperate for runs with his batting form so poor he was overlooked in the auction for South Africa’s new T20 franchise competition.
He followed that by scoring only three runs in three innings in their recent T20I series in India.
Making matters worse, he recently fell ill to further hamper his preparations.
“I was out of action the last week or so in India with sickness. I came here to Australia still kind of recovering. But I’ve gotten over that,” insisted Bavuma, who was appointed South Africa’s white-ball captain in 2021.
Zimbabwe booked their berth in the Super 12 at the expense of Scotland in round one on Friday, to continue their good form under coach Dave Houghton, Zimbabwe’s first Test captain back in 1992.
They have promised to cause “as much damage” as they can and Bavuma is wary, but confident.
“We know what we’re going to do. We know how we’re going to do it. And we’re all quite comfortable around all of that,” he said.
© Agence France-Presse