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Ken Borland

Confidence in their skills holds Proteas in good stead – Shamsi

Posted on September 12, 2022 by Ken

The confidence the Proteas have in their skills was shown in their inspiring T20 series win over England at the weekend and will hold them in good stead in the World Cup on the big fields in Australia, according to star spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

After being walloped on the tiny Bristol county ground, South Africa produced two comprehensive, compelling victories at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, where there was at least one long boundary, and at the massive Rose Bowl in Southampton. Shamsi was at the forefront of the turnaround: after being belted for 49 runs in three overs in the first match, he was superb thereafter taking 3/27 and a career-best 5/24 in the two victories.

The triumph over one of the favourites for the T20 World Cup in October, where the Proteas will play in Hobart, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide in the group stage, suggests South Africa will be dangerous in Australia.

“Australia has big fields and that brings the skills of batting and bowling more into it,” Shamsi said. “There’s no issue for us playing on fields with big boundaries, we have a different game-plan to a team like England.

“So we are very confident with the way we are playing and how that will work on the fields in Australia. Bristol was a very small ground while Cardiff at least had one big side.

“England are still an amazing team, but this definitely puts us in a good space knowing that we have beaten them. And maybe they will respect us a bit more too.

“We’re very happy with the way we performed and the series win, we’ll put it in the bank and try and improve in our next series,” Shamsi said ahead of two T20s against Ireland, back in Bristol, on Wednesday and Friday.

While what happened in the first T20 might have knocked the confidence of a lesser player, Shamsi said he was quickly at peace with the hammering he took in Bristol.

“The first game obviously didn’t go according to plan by any stretch of the imagination. But you have to give credit to the management and the players for treating it as an anomaly, not a harsh word was spoken about it.

“When you’re up against world-class players, sometimes that can happen. I didn’t give it too much thought although there was a lot that wasn’t great about it. I just focused on what I know I can do.

“The last match was brilliant – it started with the batsmen, then the fielders and the bowlers, the guys coming on before me did a great job.

“We’ve been on a journey since last year and we have good confidence. We’re finding different matchwinners, different guys are producing the game-changing spell or innings,” Shamsi said.

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