ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
New Zealand v South Africa, World Cup 2011, 3rd quarter-final, Mirpur
Botha happy with holding role
March 22, 2011
Preview : Transformed South Africa aim for semis
News : South Africa not worried by opposition - du Plessis
Players/Officials: Johan Botha
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: South Africa
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."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
- Crowd abuse is 'water off a duck's back' as Steven Smith arrives in England with a hundred
- Kohli pleased with India's lower-order fightback
- Tom Banton, James Hildreth lead Somerset to Royal London Cup glory
- Mark Wood to undergo 'precautionary scan' as England endure more injury scares
- Boult and Jadeja stand out as NZ thump India