Nick Gordon
2 minute read
21 Feb 2015
6:05 pm

Proteas to face their sternest test

Nick Gordon

The Proteas face what is likely to be their sternest test of the pool stage at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup when they take on India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

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Both sides registered victories in their opening encounters last week with South Africa securing victory over neighbours Zimbabwe while India claimed a comfortable victory over fierce rivals Pakistan.

“Both nations are very proud cricketing nations, so it’s a matter of really putting it out there on the field and leaving everything out there on the field…” Proteas skipper said at the pre-match press conference at the ground on Saturday.

“We’re just going to go out there and give it our best shot.”

The imposing MCG is expected to be full to capacity which adds to the sense of occasion for the contest between the two that could see the eventual winner emerge as likely table toppers in Pool B.

“I’ve always enjoyed big crowds and enjoyed busy games, intense games, so it should get the blood flowing tomorrow playing in front of the big crowd in a big stadium with great tradition and history.

“We always love playing in big games, so nothing will change. We’re just looking forward to playing some good cricket,” De Villiers said.

In terms of team selection for the clash the Proteas management have a fully-fit squad of 15 to consider for the encounter with fast bowler Dale Steyn said to have recovered from a bout of sinusitis that kept him out of training during the week.

“We know India are still the world champions. We know they are an incredible cricket team, so the respect factor is definitely still there, and the respect for us towards them as a cricket team is definitely there.

“Whether they’ve won or lost, it would not have changed a lot in our planning and preparation going into this game. We know they’re a very dangerous side, and we’re going to play accordingly and hopefully come out on top,” said De Villiers.