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Proteas spinner Tabraiz Shamsi says they must be at their best to beat minnows Netherlands. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ISURU SAMEERA
Proteas spinner Tabraiz Shamsi says they must be at their best to beat minnows Netherlands. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ISURU SAMEERA

The mantra coming from the SA camp this week has been that of not undermining minnows the Netherlands, with spinner Tabraiz Shamsi on Thursday reiterating that the Proteas need to be careful. 

The Proteas take on the less fancied Dutch in the first of three one-day internationals at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday in this important series that is part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.

The Super League is the qualification process for the 2023 World Cup and there are 30 points on offer in the series that can significantly improve SA’s position on the qualification standings.

“To be honest, I don’t think there is much difference whether we play against India, England or the Netherlands,” said Shamsi. “Every game is an opportunity to establish yourself and put in performances. It is another international match, so for me and the rest of the team with the chats that we have had, we don’t really have to change anything whether we are playing against an associate team or one of the bigger teams.”

It was “another opportunity to try win a game of cricket for your country”, he said.

The Netherlands team has five players who were born in SA, in the form of Roelof van der Merwe, Colin Ackermann, Stephan Myburgh, Brandon Glover and the uncapped Clayton Floyd.

Among the backroom staff they have mentor Ryan ten Doeschate, and Shamsi believes they will have something to prove coming up against the country of their birth.

“They have a few guys who are South African in the squad and I am sure they are going to have a point to prove,” Shamsi said. “And with the Super League having been scrapped [from after the 2023 World Cup], this is probably their last opportunity to make a statement. But for us, we want the points for World Cup qualification.

“It is going to be a good challenge. They are obviously going to be up to the fight but so are we because we have some new guys in the squad. That’s a lovely opportunity for all of us to put in performances and to put our hands up.

“As you have seen, we have a World Cup basically every year and we always want to win, but the simple thing is to prepare as best we can.

“We can’t take these guys lightly because they have quality players in the squad. They have a lot of guys who have been playing county cricket as well, but we are definitely not slacking off.”

“We will have to be at our best to beat them and get all the Super League points,” Shamsi said.