Smith Targets Guyana Treble
Graeme Smith hopes to avert any World Cup nerves by picking up a trio of wins during their stay in Guyana.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith hopes to avert any World Cup nerves by picking up a trio of wins during their stay in Guyana.
Smith's team spend a fortnight in the north of South America, during which time they face Sri Lanka – at the Guyana National Stadium on Wednesday – as well as outsiders Ireland and Bangladesh.
Arguably, having that latter pair in the second round has left the big Test nations with less room for mistakes.
And it seems a minimum of five wins from seven matches will ensure a place in the semi-finals, meaning a good start to the Super Eight stage will be crucial.
"It will probably make things a bit more difficult," said Smith, whose side are the top-ranked team in world cricket.
"Whether Ireland are going to upset anybody else, I guess is the big question, the same with Bangladesh.
"They have done it already and whether they can do it in the Super Eight will be on most of the other teams' minds.
"You have to have respect for everybody, I know it's a cliched thing but it's the truth, you can't afford to take anyone for granted.
"If we can have a successful period here in Guyana it takes a lot of pressure off us going into the latter phase of the Super Eight.
"What we have learned in these tournaments is nothing ever really goes to plan, so we are just trying to keep our focus on this part of the tournament.
"I guess Wednesday is a very big game for us and we have to beat Bangladesh and Ireland."
With wet weather forecast throughout this week there is a chance of the clash with Sri Lanka being reduced severely in overs.
"That might actually become an issue here," Smith said. "It is something we have discussed.
"It might be about getting 40 overs in in two days if the weather is going to carry on like this.
"It is pretty much out of our control, so our main focus is making sure we are ready, prepared for Sri Lanka.
"If we don't get to practise it is important to be mentally prepared going into the game on Wednesday."
Both sides must have the opportunity to face 20 overs to constitute a match and any contest which cannot be completed once started is carried into a second day.
"We have a lot of options in our team if the game is reduced," added Smith. "We've played our fair share of 20-over cricket, most of our guys are pretty comfortable with it and we've had some success in domestic games and at international level.
"If it happens I am pretty sure we will be able to adapt to what is thrown at us."
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