Dhaka, March 18 (IANS) South African skipper Graeme Smith does not foresee a repeat of the shock 2007 loss to Bangladesh in Saturday’s Cricket World Cup game and feels the co-hosts will be under lot of pressure playing before their passionate home crowd.
While conceding that the Bangladesh players will be high on motivation as it was a must-win game for them to move into the quarter-finals, Smith Friday said: “Obviously, it’s a big game for them. We are expecting to see a very passionate crowd tomorrow.
“Bangladesh will be under a lot of pressure and we will try and force them to do things on the field they don’t want to do,” he said.
He stressed that his team was not looking at Saturday’s game as a revenge match for the 67-run loss to Bangladesh in the previous edition of the World Cup in Guyana. “We haven’t come with any emotion. There is no revenge talk. Four years is a long time. Tomorrow it will be one of the casual brushes.”
Talking about the 2007 match, Smith said his boys have now become more “streetsmart” with a better understanding of the sub-continent teams.
“We have a better understanding of how to go about it. Then we did not know much about their spinners. Now we have played a lot with the likes of Shakib Al Hasan. We know they are a team that likes to play on the front foot.”
“We have done a bit of preparation. We know we will face 40-41 overs of spin. Then there are several left handers in their team. We have looked at all things which can benefit us. We have our plans. We hope to execute them.”
He recalled that in the 2007 tie, Bangladesh’s Mohammed Ashraful had played a “great knock (87 from 83 balls) and later the Bangladesh spinners had “squeezed” the South African batsmen. “I think tomorrow we will play more freely.”
However, Smith asserted that his team had no plans to take it easy having already reached the quarter-finals with eight points from five group B games.
“We are preparing to play well for a win against Bangladesh and carry on the way we play.”
Happy over his side’s showing in the tournament so far, the captain said: “We probably exceeded our expectations. Different guys performed well. Hopefully we will win tomorrow to keep the confidence high. We take it one match at a time and our motivation is to win every match we play.”
He did not give a categorical reply when asked whether the South Africans will rest some key players. “For the first time in a couple of games now we have got a fit squad. So we will obviously look at that. First we will see the conditions and then select a team tonight.”
Asked about his form, Smith said it was frustrating not to be among runs in the World Cup. “I got lot of starts. But sometimes I lost feet, then there was a good ball against England, and the run out the other day (against Ireland).”