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De Villiers confident

Calcutta: The unavailability of Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis might have come as a huge blow to South Africa ahead of the Champions Trophy, but captain AB de Villiers remained confident that other players will step up and perform well. South Africa will play in the first match of the competition, against India on Thursday.

“I see it as an opportunity for the other players. I think there is very good energy in the team. Graeme and Jacques will be missed experience-wise. They’ve played for a long time. But I like to look at things in a positive way,” De Villiers was quoted as saying on the ICC website.

“David Miller is a very good player. We saw him in many games in the IPL, and he brings a lot of confidence to the team. To have an added number six or seven in our batting line-up to know that we can win a game from anywhere is great.

“And, obviously, Alviro Petersen comes in with a lot of experience. He had a very good season back home. He’s shown before in the shorter division that he can play the game really well. It’s great to have his experience. And his energy in the field, he’s a very good fielder and very good thinker of the game as well.

“It’s nice to have those two guys on the team. So I look at it from a positive perspective, and I feel we have a great energy and great mix on the team.”

The South Africa captain says they will try to keep things as simple as possible, and will take one game at a time.

“Every game we play is important to us. We represent a very proud cricketing nation, and we’d like to do well in this tournament. For now, our focus will be playing the first game against India and winning it.

“We wouldn’t like to look too far ahead even though we would like to win the tournament, and I have full confidence that we’re going to do so, but we’ve got to take it one step at a time. Everyone will probably be focussing on that. We have to perform as a unit and we need to excel in all the departments to make an impact in the tournament.”