HAMILTON, New Zealand: South Africa skipper AB de Villiers promised his team will take Zimbabwe seriously in their opening World Cup match in Hamilton on Sunday, declaring his players are keen to make history and ditch their tag as chokers.
South Africa are top contenders this time after failing to go beyond the semi-final stages in all six World Cups they have featured since their readmission to international cricket in 1991.
But their recent good form makes them one of the favorites for the title and, despite admitting his team is amongst the best; De Villiers wants to focus on a dangerous Zimbabwe.
“We know of Zimbabwe’s capability, it’s not long ago they beat Australia,” said De Villiers of their opponents who defeated Australia on their home turf in August last year.
“They are a dangerous side and have come a long way.
They are under a good coach (Dav Whatmore) so we know we will have to take them seriously and it’s a big start for both teams.”
Zimbabwe raised their not-so-high hopes with a seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka in a warm-up game on Wednesday.
Under Whatmore, Zimbabwe have shown signs of progress, notably in their bowling which restricted New Zealand to 157-7 in their rained off first warm up game on Monday.