Proteas captain Temba Bavuma insists his team cannot afford to be “arrogant or loud” when they face the Netherlands in the ODI World Cup on Tuesday, wary of the shock defeat they suffered against the Dutch at the World T20 last year.
South Africa are on a high at this tournament, piling up runs and coasting to comfortable wins over Sri Lanka and five-time champions Australia.
However, memories of the 13-run loss to the Dutch in Adelaide at the T20 showpiece in November 2022, when the Proteas failed to chase down a modest 158, are still raw.
Eight of the South African team who played in that game are likely to feature Tuesday at the picturesque Himalayan venue of Dharamsala as the third round of league games wraps up.
Bavuma was determined on Monday to stress that his team should be the stronger in the longer 50-over format.
“We definitely won’t be taking them lightly. There was a T20 World Cup last year, a 50-over World Cup now,” said the captain.
“Different format, different ask in terms of your skills, being able to do your skills for a longer period of time. So, I think that’s something that I think we all need to appreciate.”
In ODI clashes, South Africa enjoy a convincing 6-0 winning record.
Two of those wins – by eight wickets in Benoni and 146 runs in Johannesburg – earlier this year assured the Proteas of a spot at the World Cup.
Those results took the Dutch into the qualifying tournament instead.
“We played them in South Africa and our victories there were emphatic,” added Bavuma. “I think in terms of the confidence and belief within the team without us being arrogant or loud about it I think it’s still up there.
“We still respect opposition, not just Netherlands, but any opposition. We’ll be coming into the game with the same mindset that we had against Sri Lanka and that we had against Australia.”
South Africa have never made an ODI World Cup final, falling at the semi-finals on four occasions.
However, they have looked impressive so far in India.
Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram all cracked centuries in a tournament record 428 against Sri Lanka in a 102-run win.
De Kock made another century in the 134-run mauling of a misfiring Australian team.
South Africa’s biggest challenge on Tuesday could come from the weather. A chance of rain is forecast alongside temperatures around the 18°C mark.
When South Africa beat Australia in Lucknow last Thursday, it was a steamy 35°C.
Also of concern in Dharamsala is the outfield which was described as “poor” by England captain Jos Buttler and deemed only as “average” by the ICC.
“I think the field is a bit patchy,” said Bavuma. “We did have a fielding practice last night and to be honest it didn’t play as bad as it really looked – but I guess we’ll see how it goes within the game.
“We have spoken about trying to be a bit more cautious. Maybe changing your diving technique, I don’t know how easy that is to do when you are in the heat of the moment.”
© Agence France-Presse