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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014
Our preparation has left nothing to chance
Jacques Kallis
March 25, 2011
First Published: 00:32 IST(25/3/2011)
Last Updated: 00:35 IST(25/3/2011)
South Africa's Jacques Kallis celebrates the wicket of India's Yuvraj Singh during their Cricket World Cup match against India in Nagpur.

I was never the best pupil when it came to taking exams at school, but I wish I had known then what I know now, because I might have done a bit better!

If you prepare as well as you can, there is nothing to worry when you sit down to write the paper. Sure, you can still have a bad day for whatever reason, but there is no reason to feel nervous if you have done all you can beforehand.

Preparation, the key
Unfortunately, there were no exams in 'cricket' as a child, otherwise I might have done quite well. Now, though, as a team, we have done our studying and we have completed our practicing as well as we possibly could for today's game.
That doesn't mean that everything will go according to plan, it rarely does over the course of 100 overs, but we are calm and secure in the knowledge that we are ready and have left nothing to chance.

Great camaraderie
One of their greatest assets is the way they play for each other and obviously care for each other. New Zealand have great team-spirit and never give up. Senior bowlers like Scott Styris and James Franklin are clever at taking the pace off the ball but they also have Tim Southee who can be quick.

Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum form an excellent pair of spinners while Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum have the ability to take the innings away and seize control in the early overs.
Let me not forget Jacob Oram. I hope I have made it clear that we are not under-estimating our opposition!

A different SA
In the previous South Africa teams, we relied on three or four key players. That is not the case now. I wouldn't have the slightest concern about a single member of the 15-man squad, irrespective of age or experience.

The format and logistics of the tournament are becoming interesting by the day — it's going to be a tight squeeze getting either us or New Zealand for the semifinal on Tuesday! Apparently, we are not booked to travel until Sunday afternoon. But that is not my problem — we have good people to take care of the planning and I have a very important match to prepare for.
 
Hawkeye


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