ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
Netherlands v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mohali
South African trio overcome fitness concerns
Firdose Moonda in Mohali
March 2, 2011
Dale Steyn was among three South African players to pass fitness Tests ahead of the game against Netherlands on Thursday. JP Duminy and legspinner Imran Tahir were the others.
Steyn injured his side after colliding with Graeme Smith during a football match during the team's warm up in Delhi on Sunday. Duminy had a lower back spasm and Tahir was suffering from a respiratory tract infection which is said to have cleared.
With the Mohali pitch likely to offer more for the seamers, there was speculation that South Africa would not go in with three spinners, as they did for the first match against West Indies. Tahir, in particular, was earmarked as the bowler to be rested, especially after falling ill. van Zyl indicated otherwise, saying that Tahir made an effort to adjust his follow through after he was warned for running on the pitch in Delhi. "We worked with him yesterday and we will do a bit more work on it today. It doesn't seem like it's a huge thing and it won't have any great effect on the way he bowls."
If Tahir plays, it may mean no space for the two left-armers, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell, both of whom missed out on South Africa's first match. van Zyl said he is not allowing himself to be persuaded into leaving out some of his big-name players, irrespective of the fact that South Africa are playing an Associate team. "If you underestimate your opposition it may become tempting to do that," he said. "They are an opponent like any other and we are approaching them in exactly the same way."
The respect South Africa are treating the Netherlands with is a reflection of van Zyl's attitude towards the Associate teams. Even though the ICC plans to shut them out of the World Cup in 2015 and cut the tournament down to 10 teams, van Zyl thinks they add value to the global showpiece. "I think they need to be here. It's important for world cricket."
Left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar caught the eye of van Zyl who described him as a "very good bowler" and said the attack in general "bowls well wicket to wicket." However, like many others, he feels their batting is their strength. "They have some really good batsmen. We saw how Ryan ten Doeschate performed against England."
Even though that batting line-up was reduced to 115 against the same West Indian side South Africa put to the sword, van Zyl said a big victory is not on his mind at all, and he wants his men to simply get the job done. "Our goals are not much more than winning the game."