New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) South Africa’s frontline spinner Johan Botha feels that spinners will have to attack and look for wickets on the helpful sub-continent pitches in the World Cup.
After their first workout ahead of South Africa’s opening World Cup match against the West Indies Thursday, Botha said his team is well prepared.
“We had a good week in Bangalore. Conditions were a litte bit different than here. Today was a good outing for us, the wickets here (Air Force Ground, Palam) are a bit slow and low.
“After a two-week of break following the India series we needed some good workout. We have done that and the guys are keen to go out and play,” he said.
Botha said South Africa are not seen as one of the strong favourties, but players know they can go the full distance.
“Lot of teams are favourites. India is there and Sri Lanka are a quality team. I think in the last two World Cups we were favourites. This time there are not many expectations from us. But within the team we believe we can go all the way in the tournament. We can do our business. We just need to get into the knock out round and if we have a few good games we can end up with the Cup.”
Giving a peek into the South African bowling attack, Botha said the spinners will play an important role.
“In South Africa it turns less so it is hard to bowl there. There will be a bit more assistance here for spinners so we can play a more attacking role. Back home we try and keep the game tight and bowl restrictive line. Here we have a better chance of getting wickets.
Off-spinner Botha said he is looking forward to bowl alongside leg-spinner Imran Tahir and left-arm spinner Robin Peterson.
“Lot of them have not seen Imran (Tahir) bowl. He is a quality bowler. I am looking forward to three spinners playing in some of the matches. Wicket and opposition will determine whether we can play three spinners.
“But the good thing is that all of us (spinners) can bowl in powerplays with only three fielders outside the circle and if we can do that, then we can can play three spinners.”
Botha said that personally the series against India was a good preparation for him.
“We take a bit of a confidence from that series. We played against batsmen who are world class against spinners and it was great prepapartion for me. It was really good to play and assess my game. In the sub-continent, we want to attack more and pick wickets. In South Africa saemers take all the wickets and you just need to control the game.”
Botha said they are not taking West Indies lightly, but at the same time they are confident going into the first match.
“We know they have some quality players and they are dangerous. If one comes off with a big score then immediately there will be pressure. But we can do our business. It does not matter what we do first (bowling or batting). We have to go out and express ourselves. Everyone is expecting a good match.”
Botha said he does not think that South Africans are chokers at the big stage.
“I think the word ‘choker’ has been overused. You can say that about past South African teams, they probably have choked. But guys we have got now are free to play and do what they think. They are backed by the captain, coaches and support staff. So if it doesn’t work we have to go back.
“It is quite interetsing to say that South Africa are chokers, but Australia won the last three World Cup which means other teams have also not won it.
“Australia dominated so far and they were the best team. You can’t just point a finger at us. I know we lost in pressure situations, but that could have happened to other teams,too. It happned with my domestic team back home when we lost two trophies.
“Once we get over that hurdle it will be perfect.”