Dhaka, March 19 (IANS) Satisfied over his side’s resounding win over Bangladesh, South Africa skipper Graeme Smith Saturday said he was hopeful of winning the next three knockout games and winning the World Cup.
Smith said his side needed to carry on the way they are playing without worrying about the results.
“I am very hopeful,” Smith said when asked how confident he was of winning the quarterfinal, the semifinal and the final to lift the World Cup for the first time.
“All the teams going into the knockout phase want to win the World Cup. I think for us it’s just about not getting worried and carry on the way we have.”
“We got to take a step at a time and with a bit of luck we shall get there (World Cup),” he said.
“We have met the challenges that have come our way. Each game that we have played in the round robin stage has had its bit of pressure,” said the South African captain who is slated to step down from the captaincy after the big tournament.
South Africa have romped into the quarterfinal by topping group B and are now poised to meet the fourth placed team from the other group for a place in the semi-final.
South Africa thrashed Bangladesh by 206 runs after scoring 284/8 and skittling out the co-hosts for a miserable 78.
Smith said his team has had a nice build up to the quarter-final and would now prepare the same way for the knockout matches.
Asked which team South Africa would prefer to play in the quarterfinals, Smith said he had no such choice.
“You got to play to win the tournament and somewhere down the line you are going to meet quality opposition. In the knockout phases, it’s going to be eight quality teams. So it’s pointless,” he said.
Dwelling on the importance of the match against Bangladesh, Smith said it was crucial to maintain the winning momentum. After their defeat against England in the second game, South Africa have won three matches on the trot. They beat India, Ireland and Bangladesh.
“In a game like today, it is so easy to go through the motions but maintaining the momentum was very important. You feel good when you see guys throwing themselves around, making those hard stops, chasing balls right to the boundary. That just shows the mindset at the moment of the boys.”
Smith also praised pacers Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell and leg-spinner Imran Tahir. While the frontline pacers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were rested, the fit-again Tahir came in for Colin Ingram.
“It is good to see them coming in and performing well. We might have had a few niggles, but its quality waiting outside for their turn,” he said.
South Africa had injury problems for a couple of matches ahead of Saturday’s game. While AB de Villers is still out of the team with a thigh injury, Steyn had a side problem in the previous game opposite Ireland while Tahir has recovered from a left thumb fracture.