Wayne Parnell says the Proteas fast bowlers have made an effort to “talk about cricket” as the team looks to go the distance at the T20 World Cup.
South Africa need a win in their final Super 12 match against the Netherlands in Adelaide on Sunday to confirm their spot in the semi-finals from Group 2.
The Proteas, who lost their previous match to Pakistan after putting them in trouble at 43-4, have depended on their quicks to rattle opposition teams.
Anrich Nortje has claimed 10 wickets in four matches to lead the Proteas pace attack, which includes Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Parnell.
Parnell (33) said the key to success for the pace pack has been sticking together and discussing the game.
“Just try and spend time together, talk about cricket. That is something that kind of has been lost in social media and phones,” the left-arm quick said.
“After games, you pick up your phones, you are on WhatsApp, social media, so we spoke about it in India in June, just to actually have moments when we talk about cricket.”
The team’s opening match was a washout before they hammered Bangladesh and beat India to brighten their semi-final hopes.
A loss to India in Perth pulled them back, but the Temba Bavuma-led side still control their fate in the tournament and Parnell said they are confident.
“It’s a crucial game for us tomorrow,” Parnell, who called it a virtual quarter-final, told reporters. “They are a quality side, they have shown that they can play good cricket, and hopefully it’s only in patches. If we bring our A game I reckon we should have enough.”
Table-toppers India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – all three to play their matches on the same day – are in the race for a final-four place alongside South Africa.
The Proteas have never reached the final of a World Cup, but Parnell said the unity and hunger of this side give them hope.
“I think the first thing that really stands out is the unity. I think people are really enjoying other people’s successes, also everyone just trusting each other,” said Parnell.
“Not really looking at one or two players to put in performances for us. Also, everybody is hungry to go the distance. That’s probably one thing that stands out for me.”
Asked about South Africa’s reputation for choking, Parnell said: “When we get that first trophy hopefully it will go away, but until then it will always be there.”
The Netherlands are out of the semi-finals race but put in an impressive show in their previous win over Zimbabwe, and all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe said they remain confident of putting up a fight against the Proteas.
“I think South Africa is a good outfit,” he said. “I think we’ve played some good cricket at stages this tournament, and we know on the day we can turn them over if we just stick to what we’ve been doing well and just compete on the day.”
© Agence France-Presse