South Africa will treat the highly-anticipated World Cup match against India with the same respect as any other international and not as a “high-profile” game, Proteas cricket coach Russell Domingo said.
“We are not seeing it as a high-profile game, every game we play is. We are treating it very much in the same way that we would treat every other game,” Domingo said.
The match has generated a buzz of interest and hype among the fans in Melbourne, with the 90,000-seat stadium expected to be filled to capacity.
“I’ve always said over the last year that every game you play for South Africa is a big game, that’s how we want to approach it,” Domingo said ahead of his team’s World Cup match against India on Sunday.
The coach said that although India has never beaten South Africa in a World Cup match, past history will count for nothing as both teams look to gain momentum in Group B, which also features West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“India are the current world champions and are a wonderful one-day side. Whatever has happened in the past in previous World Cups will count for very little when we play here on Sunday,” the coach said.
“We know that there is always a lot of hype when India are in town. They have massive support and some really big players in their side.
“We are just focusing hard on our preparations. I haven’t thought too much on whether we have a psychological advantage over India.
The Proteas’ preparation has been boosted by the behind-the-scenes addition of former Australian batsman, Mike Hussey, who has been brought in to share his mental and tactical experience along with his in-depth knowledge of local conditions.
“He is a guy that has won a World Cup as a player and has been in pressure situations in Australia and has played in these conditions for a long period of time.