South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo will not underestimate Zimbabwe during this month’s three-T20I series.
The Proteas won the preceding ODI series 3-0 – and have never lost to the Zimbabweans in the shortest format of the international game.
‘The benefit of playing any team is being on the field. It doesn’t matter who the opposition is, the standards do not drop,’ said Phehlukwayo.
‘I don’t think it really matters. It is self-pressure and you have to put in the performance and the work. You pay respect to any team you play against, because they could come and have a good performance. You still have to execute your skills on the day.
‘The first match is important to set the tone. Before the T20Is, the guys have been playing good cricket in the ODIs, so there is a positive vibe in the camp. The players are putting in performances, there is always learning that you can take from every match, and I feel we will be bringing that into the series.’
The hosts’ squad features two new caps in batsmen Gihahn Cloete and Rassie van der Dussen – and the internationally inexperienced Robbie Frylinck and Christiaan Jonker.
‘There are a lot of guys in the team who are quite new. Looking at their performances at the domestic level, they’re really deserving of their caps,’ added Phehlukwayo.
‘The depth in the South African system is really good. There are a few guys who received new caps in the ODI series and it is good to see the new guys picking up their hands and putting their names into the World Cup hat.’
East London will host the first T20I on Wednesday. The second and third will be played in Potchefstroom and Benoni, respectively.