AB: Anything can happen on the day
Proteas skipper AB de Villiers has declared that he is happy with his team’s preparation for the ICC Champions despite the series loss to England ahead of the tournament.
The world number one ODI batsman expects a competitive tournament where even the top sides won’t be able to take things easy in any matches.
Speaking at the pre-tournament dinner De Villiers said: “I was pretty happy with our preparations for the Champions Trophy, although obviously you don’t want to lose a series that you play in.
“But I know that we finished on a high, and there were encouraging signs throughout the series and those are the kind of things we like to focus on.
“We’re still ranked the No.1 team in the world going into the tournament, so there are quite a few reasons for us to be confident, but we’re still humbled at the same time and know that we have to work hard and take it one step at a time to win this.
“Anything can happen on the day in one-day cricket, that’s a fact, and especially with a tournament like the ICC Champions Trophy.
“When the world’s top eight teams are competing for one trophy, it’s going to be very competitive. I’m sure there will be some close games, and I guess whichever team takes their opportunities the most will come out on top.
“We know we’re still going to have to play well, and imitate what we have been doing over the last 18 months, but we are ready for that. We are very well prepared and ready to move forward.”
De Villiers insists the Proteas will look to hit the ground running, avoiding a repeat of their start to the England series where his team lacked sharpness in the field in the opener in Leeds.
He added: “It’s vital that we get off to a good start. There is not a lot of time in this tournament to bounce back, it’s very short with only a few games before the knockout.
“I think we can expect to see more of what we have been seeing over the last year from South Africa in this tournament – a brave brand of cricket.
“That is what I believe we have been playing, and it has been working for us. We’ve got a really good side, and I have full trust in the guys to come out and play really well.
“We’re going to take it one step at a time. So many guys have said that before and it’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s important in these kind of tournaments not to look too far ahead.
“This tournament happens at a rapid pace and there is no room for error, so if you look too far ahead, you might stumble over an obstacle or two.”
Tributes pour in for former umpire Rudi Koertzen following death aged 73
The MCC said it was “saddened” to learn of Koertzen’s death.
Lisa Keightley to step down as England head coach at the end of the summer
The Australian took over in January 2020 and led England to the final of this year’s World Cup.
Chance to Shine graduates Lauren Bell and Issy Wong excited to keep on inspiring
The pair have enjoyed a memorable year so far with international debuts in multiple formats.
Jordan Thompson stars with the ball as London Spirit hammer Manchester Originals
Seamer Thompson, who took two wickets on his tournament debut at the Oval last week, followed that up with a remarkable four for 21 from 20 balls.
Sam Billings aiming to use England Lions game to push for Test recall
The wicketkeeper will captain the side for the tour match against South Africa.
Moeen Ali fears 50-over cricket could be lost due to ‘unsustainable’ schedule
The World Cup winner is worried people are starting to view the 50-over format as ‘the long, boring one’.
Alex Hales leads Trent Rockets to opening Hundred win
The former England opener hit 58 off 41 balls against Birmingham Phoenix.
Richard Thompson named as new ECB chair and pledges to restore trust in cricket
The 55-year-old will leave is role at Surrey.
Jos Buttler shines but Manchester Originals lose to Northern Superchargers
The England white-ball captain top-scored but the hosts were beaten at Emirates Old Trafford.
Harry Brooks and Will Jacks in England Lions squad to face South Africa
The tour match will give an opportunity for players to push for a first Test cap.