South Africa’s #ProteaFire fuels Proteas

South African Cricket team. *Photo Cricket South Africa Facebook page

AB de Villiers says the weight of the nation will be a motivating factor for his team in their ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand at Eden Park on Tuesday.

The Proteas have the opportunity to feature in their first ever World Cup final, but will need to get past a New Zealand side riding on good form and home-ground advantage.

“The squad is full of self-confidence and I feel that we are in a good space,” De Villiers said to the media at Eden Park on Monday.

“I have enjoyed the journey to this moment even with the ups and downs. There have been moments during the competition where we have been on top and other moments where we have been poor.

“All of those combinations have put us in a position that has made us feel confident ahead of tomorrow.”

The skipper feels the squad enters the match with no emotional baggage but rather with a clear focus and motive; to win the trophy for South Africa.

“We know that there is a lot of expectation from back home,” he said.

“There is also expectation from us as well. It’s a wonderful opportunity to make a big difference, to make South Africa a better place.

“We are playing for the bigger picture tomorrow, not just for ourselves; it’s for the entire nation.”

De Villiers says they have done their preparation on all 15 members of New Zealand’s squad, but would rather place more emphasis on their own preparation and strengths.

“It would be silly to focus too much on the cricket they have played because they have played really well,” he said of New Zealand.

“I personally don’t like to focus too much on the opposition. I believe that if we play to our full potential nobody is going to stop us in this tournament.

“It’s more important for me to get the guys in a good space; to make sure they are confident mentally, fresh physically because I know that if we rock up here and play good cricket we will end up on top.”

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