Allan Donald: South Africa relishing battle with India
Melbourne, Feb 20 (IANS) South Africa bowling coach Allan Donald on Friday said the Proteas are relishing the opportunity of facing the defending World Cup champions India early in the tournament.
"It's a massive game. This is what we train for. This is why we play for our country... to play in big games like this. I'm really, really up for this," he was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Donald said that though the match would be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, the large number of Indian supporters expected to come to the stadium would make it akin to "a home game for India".
"It (MCG) is an intimidating place. You just have to walk out there, (even when) these stands are empty it's an intimidating place - full stop," the former pace bowler said.
"We're not looking one game ahead of this game. If (the finals draw) brings us back here that's great. It means we've played cricket out of our socks to get back here. But we're concentrating on Sunday. That really is all that matters."
South Africa conducted a 3.5-hour training session at the MCG on Friday. Donald also spoke of his belief that no run target is insurmountable in modern day One-Day International (ODI) cricket. The start of the ongoing World Cup has witnessed scores of 300 chased down regularly and Donald said it was an emblematic of the fast paced nature of the modern game.
"I'm not surprised that we're seeing these big scores. It's going to come down to the bowling skills at the end if you're chasing - and it is chaseable. (A target of) 320 or 330 is chaseable," Donald said on Friday.
Donald said the ODIs were "a different animal" to the type he played when Australia last co-hosted a World Cup in 1992.
"Guys didn't have the skill set or the mindset of taking on a powerplay like they do now," he said.
"The wickets in hand in Australia, that's been the outstanding factor for all the teams. Guys like (David) Miller have been let loose, J.P. Duminy and other teams as well - we saw what happened to England with (Glenn) Maxwell at the end."