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regular-article-logo Saturday, 25 May 2024

World Cup 2023: South Africa ready to face Team India's challenge 

Top-two teams will now face each other next at Eden Gardens on Sunday

PTI Pune Published 03.11.23, 08:05 AM
Rassie van der Dussen after completing his century on Wednesday.

Rassie van der Dussen after completing his century on Wednesday. PTI picture

South Africa, having aced the conditions in the World Cup, are not intimidated by the next challenge of facing a formidable India — who remain unbeaten after seven matches in this edition — feels Proteas batter Rassie van der Dussen.

South Africa, at their marauding best with their strong batting unit, crushed New Zealand by 190 runs on Wednesday to grab the top spot that went to India again on Thursday with their 302-run victory over Sri Lanka at the Wankhede. The top-two teams will now face each other next at Eden Gardens on Sunday. Van der Dussen, Man of the Match for his 133 in Pune, said they’re ready for the challenge.

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“Obviously, playing India in India is a massive event. They’ve been playing really well. A lot of experience in their team. They’ve got all bases covered, brilliant bowling attack and obviously the batting as well,” he said during the post-match press conference on Wednesday.

“But again, we’ll go into that game knowing that if we do the things well that we want to do, we’ll be in a really strong position.

“We’ve played them here before and we’ve beaten them here before. So, in a sense, it’s, even though it’s a World Cup, it’s not really too much different. We won’t be looking at that too much.”

South Africa are yet to land a major trophy despite being close on multiple occasions but they have looked in peak form in this 50-over World Cup, having scored three of the six highest scores in this edition.

“What we’ve done really well is we’re really just focusing on what we want to do and how we want to play it,” said Van der Dussen, who not only scored his second ton in this World Cup but also stitched a 200-run partnership at the top with Quinton de Kock. “So, at the end of the day, it’s almost irrelevant who’s in front of you.

“We know if we play the way we want to play and execute how we want to and take the correct options, especially under pressure, then the result is a byproduct of that.”

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