Star South Africa batsman Hashim Amla on Saturday said his team would not take Afghanistan lightly in their must-win Super 10 Group 1 game of World T20on Sunday, especially after the “minnows” good show with the bat against Sri Lanka.
Afghanistan had posted a competitive 153 for seven, which Sri Lanka chased down in 18.5 overs but not before surviving some anxious moments.
“We can’t take any team for granted. Saw the way Afghanistan played against Sri Lanka (in the first Super 10 game). We don’t take them for granted at all. We know we have to play our best cricket. The shorter the format the more chances a minnow team has of upstaging a strong team,” said Amla at the pre-match press conference.
“They are a good team, have been playing some exciting cricket. We don’t take them lightly,” he added.
South Africa, meanwhile, were stunned by England in their tournament opener here last night despite setting a huge 230-run target, but Amla said that the best eleven had been put on the park and yet the team lost.
“The team yesterday is still the best team and us scoring 229 (for six) was pretty good in this type of ground. I think I know that the captain always tried to play best 11 suited to the venue,” he said.
Asked if his team was satisfied with the final score it had posted after a great start, Amla retorted by saying: “Can you ever be satisfied with what score you get.”
Amla top-scored for South Africa with 58 off 31 deliveries, while Quinton de Kock hit 24-ball 52, putting on 96 together for the opening wicket in 7.1 overs.
“We do enjoy batting with each other. We have different styles. We complement each other and have managed to get our team off to good starts,” said the 32-year-old.
He praised Joe Roots (44-ball 83) for the manner in which he snatched the game away from South Africa.
“The time he came in and set up (the win) was pretty good. The way he controlled and accelerated, it was a special innings. He played some great shots and put some pressure on us,” said Amla.
Amla said the Wankhede Stadium track looked to be pace-friendly more than assisting spin bowlers and also felt that most teams would opt to chase.
“There is pace on the wicket. I don’t think spin makes too much of a difference.
“Some of the games you have seen…toss is, I won’t say crucial, but in Mumbai most teams chase. At other places, the teams look to bat first. I don’t think it is a crucial factor. 230 was a very good score. May be we lacked in basics,” said Amla.