Smith confident of victory over Bangladesh
Mirpur: South African captain Graeme Smith on Friday cautioned Bangladesh not to expect another upset win in the World Cup when the two sides meet in their last Group B match on Saturday though he refused to see it as a revenge game for their loss against the same opponents four years ago.
Bangladesh had shocked England in an earlier match before beating the Netherlands in their last league tie to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive, but Smith bluntly said that the Tigers should not expect an upset on Saturday.
The Proteas` lone defeat in 13 ODIs against Bangladesh came during the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean when the Tigers beat them by 67 runs in Providence, Guyana.
"We are more street-smart now when we play teams from the sub-continent. We have a better understanding of how to go about it. They are a team that likes to play on the frontfoot. We will plan well for them," Smith said at the pre-match press conference.
In the last World Cup, riding on Mohammad Ashraful`s 87 Bangladesh posted 251-8 and then shot out South Africa for 184 with left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak claiming 3/25.
"There are no added emotions, no talk of revenge. We have played Bangladesh a fair bit after that. This is just another occasion. It`s obviously a big game for Bangladesh and they will be motivated to do well in front of their passionate
crowds," Smith said.
"They will be under a lot of pressure and we will try and force them to do things on the field they don`t want to do. The wicket seems the same it was when we last played here in 2008. It will turn and there will also be a bit of reverse swing. Bangladeshi spinners have bowled 41 overs at an average in every match. We have studied their videos and will be well-prepared to deal with any situation," he said.
South Africa are the only team in Group B to have been assured of a quarterfinal berth, with four others -- India, West Indies, Bangladesh and England -- vying for the remaining three spots. And only a victory over the Proteas on Saturday will take the Tigers into the last eight stage.
Dale Steyn picked up a minor side strain against Ireland on Tuesday but Smith refused to reveal whether the fast bowler will be rested ahead of the knock-out rounds. "For the first time in the tournament, we have a fully fit squad to pick from. Everyone is available for selection," he said.
Smith dismissed suggestions that his team will use Saturday`s match as a warm-up game for the quarterfinals. "We take it one match at a time and our motivation is to win every match we play. It`s great we have already qualified. We have exceeded expectations and now we want to build on that."
Meanwhile, leg-spinner Imran Tahir has recovered from a fractured thumb and key batsman AB de Villiers is back after missing the Irish game with a thigh muscle strain.