SOUTH Africa Test cricket captain Hashim Amla yesterday ruled out any complacency from his charges, saying they would be aiming to play intense cricket during the one-off Test against the hosts starting on Saturday at Harare Sports Club.
The Proteas, who recently reclaimed their number one position on the ICC Test rankings, made their intensions of convincingly winning the one-off Test clear by naming a full-strength side.
Addressing a Press conference at a local hotel after his team’s arrival in the capital yesterday, Amla said after reclaiming the number one position in the world his charges would not rest on their laurels, but would play aggressive cricket like what they always do in the longer format of the game.
“Naturally people will expect the team that’s ranked higher to perform better,” said Amla, who was accompanied by his coach Russel Domingo.
“We are happy to be in Zimbabwe, it’s a nice place to be and we want to win the game. We are going to try and play the game as intensely as we play every Test match. Test cricket is not something that you take for granted whether you’re ranked at the top or the bottom. On any given day someone can perform, so we are not going to be taking it any lightly.
Zimbabwe will head into the upcoming series against South Africa after wasting an opportunity for a rare home series whitewash against the visiting Afghanistan team.
The hosts were held to a 2-2 draw in the four-match ODI series, while the two-match four-day series was also drawn 1-1.
“We are here to play our brand of cricket, whatever Zimbabwe brings to the table would be fantastic and it will all add to that competition. I haven’t really followed Zimbabwe’s progress during the Afghanistan series recently because we had our own series in Sri Lanka, but as Russell alluded to every time that we have been to Zimbabwe there’s always good competition.
The lone Test match starting Saturday will be the South Africans’ first since 2001 when the Proteas won 1-0, winning the first Test at Harare Sports Club by nine wickets before the second Test at Queens Sports Club ended in a draw.