ICC Champions Trophy: England under pressure, says AB de Villiers

South Africa face hosts England in the first semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy at the Oval in London © Getty Images

London: Jun 19, 2013

South Africa skipper AB de Villiers said that there will be pressure on England ahead of their semi-final clash of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 at the Oval in London.

According to www.icc-cricket.com, de Villiers kept said, “They [England] are playing in front of the home crowd, I think all the pressure is on them. We’ll make sure we do the basics well, like I said before, and if things go our way we’ll end up on top.”

Asked if his side will be the underdogs in the encounter, he said, “It’s quite simple that they’re playing in front of the home crowd in the home conditions, so they must be favourites.”

Talking about the prospect of fast bowler Dale Steyn’s availability for the match, De Villiers said, “We are just managing his workload at the moment. We know he’s played a lot of cricket of late. He’s got a few niggles around, which is very worrying, but we’re going to do all we can to get him on the park tomorrow. He’s close to 100 percent, he’s running around.”

“We didn’t want to run him too much today because we knew he’s one of the best in the world and he’s got the skill to just rock up and do the business, so we’re just making sure that he gets that extra day of rest, and like you saw, he’s working on his rehab and then a few little stretch exercises and just running around making sure we give him the best chance to play on Wednesday,” he said.

The last time South Africa and England met in a semi-final clash of a major tournament was in the World Cup 1992 where the rain rule left the Proteas needing 22 runs to get from the final delivery. Talking about that, de Villiers said, “It’s not something we’re thinking about, but I watched that game. It’s a long time ago, and it was quite sad actually. I think I was crying that night, similar to what happened in the ’99 World Cup.”
 
“It’s a new game, we’re a fresh team. Like I said, it’s something that doesn’t bother us what happened in the past. We know what we’re about as a team and as a unit, and we are all really excited about tomorrow. Like I said, we’ve got a great opportunity to do our country proud, and we’ll just take it one step at a time, make sure we do the basics well early on and then hopefully a big upset in the result.”