Gqeberha-born coach Russell Domingo will be plotting SA’s downfall when his Bangladesh Tigers take on the Proteas in their T20 World Cup clash at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
After narrow losses against Sri Lanka and West Indies and a defeat against England where they were outclassed, Bangladesh are out of the running for the next stage. But Domingo’s Tigers are no pushover as they achieved home series wins over Australia and New Zealand heading into this tournament.
SA will be wary of the threat Bangladesh pose and Domingo, who spent close to a decade in their set-up, will have intimate knowledge of how their systems work.
“It is going to be strange being involved in a game against SA for the first time having worked for them for about seven years, but I am really looking forward to it,” the former Proteas and Warriors coach said. “I think it will be a very close game, we haven’t played badly, we have just made a few mistakes. They are also very confident at the moment.
“We want to test ourselves against the best teams [in the competition] and SA is certainly one of the best, so it will be a strange match, but one that I am really looking forward to,” the Bangladesh mentor said.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius noted the contributions from each player in the team and said fans can expect the same intensity on Tuesday.
“With this Protea on your chest, you need to bring the passion, you must bring the energy, no matter how tired you are. We know back home there are a lot of people rooting for us and we appreciate them. The worst thing we want to do is let them down, so every time we cross that line we make sure we leave everything out on the field,” he said.
With a three-day break after this match before taking on group A leaders England, Pretorius said they are adequately prepared for anything Domingo’s side will throw at them.
“I think they might take it as deep as Sri Lanka tried to do and see where they end off at the death. Overall, the structure will be very much the same and it is up to us to upset that and prevent them from playing the game they want to play,” he said.
Pretorius has been a revelation for the Proteas in the death bowling department, picking up important wickets at crucial stages.
“Maybe Temba [Bavuma] struggled to find a spot for me to bowl in the middle overs because our guys have been doing so well, so that left me with the end job,” Pretorius said.
“As a player, you try to prepare for every situation you might be thrown into and I am just trying to prepare as best as possible, trying to make sure I am prepared for any situation.”
On his approach to death bowling, Pretorius said the danger is it’s unpredictability, “so I try to vary my pace and length quite a bit even though my line is the same”.
“This is not an ego battle out there, it’s trying to be as effective as possible and if I can do a job for the team again and put us in a better situation. I am willing to do that ugly job, something that doesn’t always look pretty, but is very effective,” he said.
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