• ‘We can’t win every game’

    Vice-captain Hashim Amla isn’t necessarily wary of peaking too soon ahead of the 2015 World Cup, as South Africa target a convincing ODI series victory over New Zealand, come the second ODI at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui tonight (SA time).

    The Proteas won the first ODI at the same venue comfortably earlier this week, thanks largely to unbeaten half-centuries from skipper AB de Villiers and sidekick JP Duminy. The result promised plenty for the limited-overs showpiece in the same country – and Australia – in February next year.

    ‘The idea is to win as much as you can. There is no doubt that you are going to have a few days where you don’t perform as well as you would like and you may lose the game – and there are also other days where you perform well and the other team has a better day, it’s a given,’ said Amla.

    ‘You can’t have a 100 percent win rate, although that would be wonderful, but it’s unrealistic. We want to win as many matches and as many series as we can, at the end of the day we want to be on the winning side more than the losing side.’

    The South Africans will leapfrog Australia at the helm of the International Cricket Council’s ODI rankings, if victorious in the overnight fixture – and the third and final match at Seddon Park in Hamilton – toward the new week.

    ‘To be honest with you, I don’t think anyone has mentioned it, it hasn’t been a major motivator for us, the rankings. You obviously want to get to the World Cup within the top three to give you a gauge of what your chances are in a different sort of way,’ added Amla.

    ‘Being number one would be great but at the moment we are sticking to a good plan of winning as many as we can and taking each match with the importance that it has.’

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