JP: Past success against Sri Lanka counts for nothing

South Africa

South Africa’s recent success against Sri Lanka will count for nothing in their opening ICC Champions Trophy match at The Oval in London on Saturday.

The Proteas stamped their authority on the sub-continent team with a 5-0 whitewash at home earlier this year, but remain aware of the threat of their opposition heading into a big event.

Allrounder, JP Duminy, says the high-stakes nature of the tournament puts both teams on even keel regardless of their past performances.

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“What has happened in the past is in the past,” he said at the squad’s practice in London on Thursday.

“It is a knock-out game, every game you play is a knock-out game. Yes, we have done reasonably well against them a couple of months ago but both teams come into the tournament with a clean slate.

“It’s about performing on the day; we have to make sure we play our best cricket and focus on our processes which is going to be key.”

Duminy says the series against England allowed the players to assess and to acclimatise to the early-summer conditions, and they head into Saturday’s match with the best possible preparation.

The Proteas play their group matches at two contrasting venues in terms of pitch conditions; The Oval in London which is comparatively high-scoring, and Edgbaston in Birmingham which is the highest wicket-taking venue for spinners in the UK.

“We are ready for the tournament,” Duminy exclaimed. “We’ve had a good 10 days of preparation, it wasn’t the ideal result in the one-day series, but that is in the past and our full focus is on what is ahead.

“We took quite a bit out of it,” he said of the series. “The timing of the series was perfect in terms of preparation going into the Champions Trophy.

“Adapting to conditions, understanding what is good and what is not in terms of batting and bowling in these kind of conditions.

“It’s that time of the year where you are getting into the heart of summer. There are certain wickets around the country that are good for batting but the wickets that we played on had a little bit for the bowlers, especially Lord’s where the first hour-and-a-half had a Test match feel to it.

“It will be interesting to see how conditions go throughout the tournament, weather-permitting.”