South Africa captain AB de Villiers doubts he will need to say too much to motivate his team mates for their cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand as he feels they are already in a ‘good space’. (Full Coverage| Points table| Fixtures)
South Africa enter Tuesday’s clash at Eden Park slight favourites after demolishing Sri Lanka by nine wickets, their first World Cup knockout win since their re-integration after apartheid.
“I know the guys are up for it … I feel the team is in a really good space at a really good time,” De Villiers told reporters at Eden Park on Monday.
“I will have a look at how the feelings are when we get to the ground. You normally get an indication during the warm-up.
“It’s pretty easy to pick up when you have spent a few years with the guys. I know each player individually pretty well.
“I know what makes them tick and what irritates them, too. Sometimes it’s important to irritate them to get the best out of them.
“It’s really about just reading the situation and trust your gut. But I don’t think I will need to trust my gut too much tomorrow (Tuesday) because the guys are up for it.”
South Africa lost two of their pool games, including a 29-run defeat by Pakistan at Eden Park.
“We definitely learned some valuable lessons in that game,” De Villiers said. “It was good to get used to the angles of the field.
“To have a look back now on reflection, I don’t think anything over 230 has ever been chased down here in an ODI.
“So it’s maybe not a bad thing to know those little things going into a semi-final and how to go about it, not to panic when you lose a couple of wickets early.
“You can always find your way back on this field and keep fighting because you are never out of it.”