Proteas take confidence from past success


South Africa spinner Imran Tahir says the Proteas will take vital confidence and learning from their recent success in India as they prepare for the World T20 competition.

The Proteas have one final warm-up match against a local side at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon, before taking on England in their tournament opener at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

South Africa won the T20I and ODI leg of their tour of India in October last year, and head into the tournament prepared for the challenges that spin-friendly conditions pose.

Tahir, who was the leading spinner during the ODI series against India, hopes the squad can replicate that success in the global event.

The legspinner said on Monday: "It was a big help for us. We have played here recently so we know the conditions a little bit better as opposed to just arriving here for the World Cup, we are fortunate in that.

"We also won the series against India so that is the confidence that we are going to take into this tournament. We have also been playing good T20 cricket so hopefully we will be able to produce the same results at a world event.

Although the Proteas have always placed emphasis on pace as their strength, Tahir says there will be no extra burden on him to perform in the spin-friendly conditions of the sub-continent.

He continued: "There is no extra pressure on me as a leg-spinner. The leg-spinner can change the game and the off-spinner is more likely to contain but for me it's important to have a bigger heart.

"You often get the pressure as a leg-spinner, the bats are bigger, the boundaries are shorter so if you know your plans and bowl with a clear mind you will do well."

"You need to back yourself and have clear plans, that’s important. If you get hit for boundaries, your first instinct is to hide, you are not planning on the best way to go forward.

"An attacking mind will be the way forward in that situation. It’s important to have a big heart because its helps you to come back and to stick to your plans."