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Tuesday , February 22 , 2011
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Botha bats for spinners

New Delhi: Johan Botha envisages an enhanced role for South African spinners on subcontinent wickets in the World Cup this time.

The Proteas’ offie felt tweakers will play an attacking role in the mega event, as wickets here, will have more purchase for spinners unlike in South Africa.

“In South Africa it’s hard to bowl as the ball turns a bit less. The assistance for the spinners here will be much more, so we can play more attacking roles. Back in our country, we spinners try to keep the game tight and restrict the rivals. Here, we have more chances to get wickets,” Botha said after South Africa’s practice at the Services Cricket Ground, here, on Monday.

The 28-year-old spinner said South Africa could use all three spinners (Botha, Robin Peterson and Imran Tahir) in some of their Cup games.

“The good thing is that all of us (spinners) can bowl in bowling Powerplays. If we can do that, then you can play three spinners. I am looking forward to three frontline spinners playing in some of the matches. We can get the chance,” he said.

Botha was hopeful that leggie Imran Tahir would make a big impact in the World Cup. “It could be very exciting. Lot of people have not seen Imran bowl. He is a quality bowler and could be a big hit here.”

Asked how he felt about South Africa being considered one of the favourites to win the World Cup, Botha said they were capable of going all the way. “But then, we are not the only favourites. India are there and Sri Lanka are a quality side. Once we get into the quarterfinals and have some good games, anything can happen.

“In the past two World Cups, we were favourites. This time people (back home) are not expecting much. Still, within the team, we believe we can go all the way in the tournament. So, that’s nice… We can end up with the trophy,” Botha said.

The Office called South Africa’s ODI series win against India, at home, a big fillip before the World Cup.

“We’ll certainly take a bit of confidence from that series… After all, we played against batsmen who are world-class against spinners. Personally, it was a great preparation for me. Let’s see how I perform on subcontinent wickets,” Botha said.

The Proteas spinner, however, called it unwise to tag his side as “chokers”. “We were not the only team to lose in the World Cup. Australia won the last three Cups and all other teams lost.

I think the word (chokers) has been overused by now. Australia dominated so far and they were the best team… You can’t just point at us. I know we lost, but that happened to all other teams,” Botha pointed out.

Speaking on West Indies, their first Cup opponent this year, Botha said the two-time World champion have some quality players. “If one of them comes off with a big score, we could be under pressure. But we will give our best. The boys are raring to go,” Botha signed off.

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