South Africa v Zimbabwe, 1st T20I, Bloemfontein

'This isn't a warm-up game' - Johan Botha

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 7, 2010

Text size: A | A

Johan Botha bowled with impressive control on his way to a man-of-the-match earning 3 for 22, West Indies v South Africa, 2nd T20, Antigua, May 20, 2010
Johan Botha takes over from Graeme Smith in a full-time role as captain of South Africa's Twenty20 team © AFP
Enlarge

South Africa's Twenty20 game against Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein marks the start of the international cricket season in the country and captain Johan Botha, who will take over as Twenty20 leader from Graeme Smith, is not taking his opponents lightly. Friday's contest will be the first Twenty20 fixture between the two teams. Zimbabwe have won just three of their 12 Twenty20 internationals thus far, the biggest scalp being the victory against Australia in the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007.

"We're definitely taking Zimbabwe seriously. It's officially the start of our summer and this is no warm-up game," Botha said on the eve of the match. "They're an international side and have beaten some big teams in the past, so we'll still have to play pretty well.

"When teams are regarded as underdogs, they are dangerous. If one guy gets 80 off 50 balls or if one of their bowlers takes three or four wickets, it puts us under pressure."

Botha has led South Africa in eight ODIs and five Twenty20 internationals. Graeme Smith's decision to step down from Twenty20 captaincy in August paved the way for Botha to assume the role on a full-time basis, and both will feature in Friday's contest. "Graeme obviously has a lot of experience and it's nice to have someone like that in your team," Botha said. "If things get tough, he's always available for me, so as far as I'm concerned it's a good thing he didn't just stop and go away.

"As captain, I'll just try to be myself, do things on the field as I see it and hopefully make the right decisions. In T20 cricket, you want to stay one step ahead, so that's what I'll try and do."

The teams play two Twenty20 internationals and three ODIs in the series.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Tour Results
South Africa v Zimbabwe at Benoni - Oct 22, 2010
South Africa won by 272 runs
South Africa v Zimbabwe at Potchefstroom - Oct 17, 2010
South Africa won by 8 wickets (with 66 balls remaining)
South Africa v Zimbabwe at Bloemfontein - Oct 15, 2010
South Africa won by 64 runs
South Africa v Zimbabwe at Kimberley - Oct 10, 2010
South Africa won by 8 runs
South Africa v Zimbabwe at Bloemfontein - Oct 8, 2010
South Africa won by 7 wickets (with 25 balls remaining)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days