ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

New Zealand v South Africa, World Cup 2011, 3rd quarter-final, Mirpur

Botha happy with holding role

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 22, 2011

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Johan Botha launches a successful appeal against West Indies, South Africa v West Indies, World Cup, Group B, Delhi, February 24, 2011
Johan Botha says South Africa's three spinners are very different from each other © Getty Images

Johan Botha, the South Africa offspinner, has said he is relishing the role of drying up runs in a line-up of attacking bowlers, who have bowled out every opposition in the World Cup so far.

Botha slipped to third choice slow-bowler in the South Africa side and lost his spot for a couple of matches to legspinner Imran Tahir and left-arm spinner Robin Peterson, who are the team's leading wicket-takers in the tournament, ahead of the fast-bowling pair of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. Botha returned to the XI for South Africa's final three league matches after Tahir fractured his thumb.

"I am probably doing more of a holding job and controlling the bowling from one side and they have all been taking wickets from the other," Botha said ahead of Friday's quarter-final. "We three spinners are a lot different from each other. They attack and I keep the runs in check. We also have world-class seamers which gives us a really good bowling attack."

South Africa cruised to the quarter-finals, topping the tough Group B with five wins in six matches and come up against New Zealand, who finished fourth in the easier Group A. Botha said there was no complacency in the South African camp ahead of Friday's quarter-final in Mirpur.

"We know we are up against a quality team and if we are not going to be on top of our game, it's going to be a really tough match," he said. "Ross Taylor is definitely a key player and so is Brendon McCullum."

New Zealand are likely to be boosted by return of their captain, Daniel Vettori, who is the world's No. 1 one-day bowler, but Botha was confident the powerful South African batting could cope with the challenge posed by Vettori. "Daniel Vettori is obviously a world-class bowler. We respect him a lot. But our guys have played spin really well in the tournament and look forward to playing against him again."


Comments: 26 
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Posted by Amol on (March 24, 2011, 2:14 GMT)

SA will just zip past NZL, even if they just care to execute the basics. Tht's it. No need to worry too much about NZL's resistance (or the lack of it).

Posted by Ram on (March 23, 2011, 10:42 GMT)

@Stan- the only clobbering will be from Amla,AB,King Kallis n JP...NZ suck in all depts...we're giving too much respect to the Black caps...let's get the job done guys..n focus on SL in colombo which'll be the a tough one

Posted by Luke on (March 23, 2011, 10:23 GMT)

The odds are stacked against NZ, BUT just before our slump we did trounce a strong indian team by 200 runs. Also, the last time these 2 teams clashed in an international (in 2006), NZ won by 90 odd runs.

Posted by Gavin on (March 23, 2011, 9:48 GMT)

I love it when arrogant fans come and talk their teams up. In fact Im one of them. It makes it fun to watch when they get rolled for 180 and get beaten by 8 wickets.

Posted by Wicus on (March 23, 2011, 9:39 GMT)

That is fine Blue Flame they can take the 2012 one, SA will take the 2011 WC :P

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2011, 9:37 GMT)

South Africa look compact this term, with a lot of flexibility, my only worry is their batting under the pump. Graeme Smith has failed to impress if he does then the whole puzzle would've have been complete. Looking forward to a good game.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2011, 7:13 GMT)

New Zealand is going to lose :-( Oh well

Posted by Rakitha on (March 23, 2011, 6:45 GMT)

Even SA has the upper hand of the match there is a possibility NZ making a surprise. NZ has many talented all rounders & most of them are big hitters. Their strong batting order up to 10 can easily reach 325+ if 2 or 3 big hitters back to form. Chasing something like 335+ under pressure is a tough chance for any good team. Hopefully it'll be a very interesting match.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2011, 6:35 GMT)

I love it when arrogant teams like SA talk themselves up. It makes it so much more fun to watch when Guptill, Mccullum, Ryder, Taylor et al are clobbering their bowling out of the ground and our dribbly but accurate bowlers are restricting their scoring rate and frustrating them into dumb shots. Fact is, NZ have a lot of explosive match winners who step up when they need to, whereas South Africa for a number of years now are totally dependent on one player. Get Kallis out cheaply and SA are down the drain faster than a cape cobra escaping from a black chested snake eagle.

Posted by M on (March 23, 2011, 5:43 GMT)

@ schnoggs - when are you going to be appointed a selector? I like the look of that team. No easy games from hereon in. Only 3 wins away......

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