By Wisden India staff in Mirpur
JP Duminy says side is prepared for spin challenge against India in World T20 semifinal and happy to play in Mirpur where dew is less of a factor
As opposed to the past when South Africa would find ways of losing close games, this team has shown a lot more scrap. Without playing at its absolute best, South Africa has managed to down New Zealand by two runs, the Netherlands by six runs and England by three runs, all this after suffering a five-run loss to Sri Lanka in its first game, to take rare confidence into the second semifinal, against India on Friday (April 5).
“We will be taking a lot of confidence from those games that we came on top of,” Duminy said on Tuesday evening, after an extended first practice session for the team which arrived here from Chittagong on Sunday. “Two of those games (New Zealand and the Netherlands), we were not meant to win. The ways to win a game out of nothing is definitely something we will take confidence from. But again, it (the semifinal against India) is a new game, we are up for the challenge.
“We know it’s going to be a big challenge for us,” Duminy went on. “Their spinners have bowled exceptionally well against us. We want to put up a big performance against their spinners. We have played against them a number of times. We know that we will play predominantly spin against India. Our preparation is in order. It’s a big game -- semifinal of a World Cup, doesn’t get bigger than this.”
Just as South Africa has an ace leg-spinner in Imran Tahir, so do India in Amit Mishra, the team’s leading wicket-taker who has troubled almost every batsman in this competition. “Look, it’s not only me who has played against him but all the others guys have also played against him,” said Duminy, referring to the IPL where many from the South African side ply their wares. Mishra and Duminy were even teammates at Sunrisers Hyderabad last year, though Duminy missed the IPL through injury and only played in the Champions League. “You kind of know what to expect. He has been on top form for India in this tournament. We are definitely not going to take them lightly. We will do our homework and see that our game plan is in order.”
AB de Villiers took England apart in the last game and is considered one of the better players of spin in the world, but Duminy said neither that nor South Arica’s run of three wins would count for much going forward because it is a fresh start. “We have been successful in the last few games but that does not mean we will be successful again. We know that their spinners will be key components to their team.
“It’s a new game. No matter what sort of things you have gone through in this tournament, it counts for nothing now. You take a lot of confidence. But the team that plays better will win.”
The dew has been a major factor in Chittagong, whereas India has had the experience of playing at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium all tournament long, where the dew has been less prevalent. “You can say a bit of relief, we are pretty happy to be in Dhaka and playing in different conditions. Obviously the dew was challenging for us. Two games now, we have had to deal with the dew factor. But I guess we were trying to find a way to get around it as there’s no need to complain about it or look for excuses. We have to find a way. I thought we did an exceptional job to defend that total (196) against England. It was a big high for us. We had our game plans in order and ways to get around the dew factor.”