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Sunday, Jan 16, 2022
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'World Cup's Disappointment Is Behind Us'

The coach and skipper Graeme Smith have gone about their business of re-building the team in right earnest and the new-found enthusiasm is evident.

'World Cup's Disappointment Is Behind Us'
'World Cup's Disappointment Is Behind Us'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

With the bitter memory of a premature exit from the World Cup still fresh in the mind, South African coach Eric Simons is now determined to put his young team on the recovery path, saying the triangular series will provide the opportunity to try out new ideas.

"The World Cup disappointment is behind us. We are looking forward to this tournament and are determined to do well. We have a few new guys and they are all raring to go", Simons said.

The South Africans, co-hosts of the World Cup, failed to make it to the Super Six stage of the mega event by a whisker after the Duckworth and Lewis method was called into play in their crucial match against Sri Lanka but the coach said his boys had got over that shock.

The World Cup disaster prompted the selectors to sack Shaun Pollock as captain and appoint the 22-year-old Graeme Smith in charge of a team which has seen a number of World Cuppers being dropped.

Smith himself was not in the original World Cup squad but was inducted into the team after an injury to Jonty Rhodes and the selectors apparently found him to be the right man to lead the South African resurgence.

Simons and captain Smith have gone about their business of re-building the team in right earnest and the new-found enthusiasm is evident in the practice sessions.

Smith looks to be in control of the team and the players have readily responded to his style of leadership. The coach believes the key to doing well in the tri- series was to adapt to the conditions as early as possible.

"It was fantastic that we had two good practice sessions here. The boys have adjusted themselves to the weather here. It is good to get opportunities before you start playing competitive matches."

South Africa are scheduled to play one warm-up match against a Bangladesh Board XI before opening their campaign in the tournament with the match against India on Sunday.

"The warm-up match will be very helpful for the team. Rather than spending time in the nets, the boys will get chances to work on their game", Simons said.

Simons has a lot of faith on the new players selected for this tour saying they have the potential to succeed at the highest level.

"We are looking forward to the warm-up game because it will give us an indication on the form of the players. We have a number of all-rounders to choose from", he said.

"Smith, Pollock and Andrew Hall are all good all-rounders. We have to see the pitch first and then decide who will play", he said, adding "its not a problem. We have just 13 players".

Jaques Kallis pulled out of the team at the last moment to attend to his ailing father but the selectors have not named a replacement for him. The team management is expecting him to join the squad for the Test series, if not the one-dayers, but would not like to put him under any pressure.

"There is no expectancy as such. We have left it on him since its very personal. He will have to take the decision depending on the situation back home", South Africa's media manager Gerald de Kock said.

PTI

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