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Rain and Pakistan not a worry for AB de Villiers

BIRMINGHAM: World number one South Africa will not be under any pressure from Pakistan’s spin attack nor will they be having any concerns over the rain which has affected Champions Trophy matches, AB de Villiers said on Tuesday.

South Africa will be looking for a semi-final spot from their game at Edgbaston on Wednesday after thrashing Sri Lanka by 96 runs in their opening match.

Pakistan will be pitting two frontline spinners in Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan and two part-timers in Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez besides Fakhar Zaman can also turn his arm over.

But De Villiers showed no signs of worry.

“Yeah, two of the four are part-time spinners. We’ve played against a lot of opposition in the last, two, three years with two spinners in it. We just played a series against England now with a couple of spinners in at wrist spinner, also finger spinner,” said De Villiers, referring to their 2-1 defeat in the one-day series against England.

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“So not much change. Every batter has got his game plans in place for the various bowlers, not only the spinners. That’s part and parcel of our analysis before games, to make sure we’re ready for them. So we’ve gone through all bowlers and we’re pretty happy with our plans.”

When reminded of Pakistan’s win against them in the 2015 World Cup, AB was quick to respond: “No pressure. The last time we played them in Champions Trophy, we got the better of them at the same ground.

“So we are confident going into this game, without being arrogant or overconfident. We played really good, won our first game in the tournament. We did all the basics really well, so we’ll be focusing on that.

“We don’t feel any pressure. We feel it’s an opportunity, once again in this tournament to shift the pressure onto all the opposition we might face. But all our focus is on tomorrow’s game. We are very, very prepared and the plans are all in place to go and take Pakistan on.”

Asked will rain be a worry in the final analysis, AB shrugged off any threat of weather coming into final analysis.

“No, not at all. It’s something that’s outside of our circle. Something we can’t control, if I want to say it that way. We can only control what’s in front of us and that’s to play good cricket to, make sure we’re prepared, and we’ve covered all those bases.”

AB de Villiers hoped besides top bowler Kagiso Rabada, others will also pose surprise threats.

“We have a few surprise weapons, if you want to call it that. He (Rabada) is a fantastic bowler and deserves to be the No. 1 bowler in the world at the moment. But there are quite a few others that can do damage, as well. In fact, all 15 that are here fit into this puzzle of ours really nicely.

“It’s a nice team to work with. There’s lots of options for me and the coach to work with and to tryout. But we have a fair idea of what we’re trying to do over here, but I think all 15 have the potential to win games of cricket; some a little bit more than others. But Kagiso deserves his spot at No. 1 and is definitely someone that will be there or there about in this tournament.”

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