Calcutta: Looking for their first major title since victory at the ICC Champions Trophy in Dhaka in 1998, South Africa have made a bright start to this year’s World Twenty20.
Starting well, however, has never been the problem. It has found the knockout stages of global events hard to navigate, and find themselves in a tight Super Eights pool that includes Australia, India, the 2007 champions, and Pakistan, the 2009 winners.
“That’s a tough group,” admitted Albie Morkel, before a training session on Tuesday afternoon. “India have played some fantastic cricket, Pakistan are playing great cricket. Australia came up with some big performances. I think it will be a very tough group to qualify from.
“We have been playing in Hambantota. It looks like the wickets here are slower, and take a bit of turn. Our preparations are certainly going to be different from what we had in Hambantota where the wicket was a bit quicker, almost home conditions for us.
“We’ll focus on those scenarios. We are likely to face spinners in the Powerplay and more of spin throughout the middle overs.”
Given the strength of the top order, Morkel has been a bit of a floater, often coming in with a few overs left and expected to get on with it straightaway.
“You are obviously a bit nervous,” he said. “You try and simulate that in training — I know you can’t really train the same as in matches and with teams, but you ask the net bowlers and set a target of ten off six and then try to get there. When you get there, it’s obviously very satisfying, and when you don’t, you know you have given your best.