We’re warmed up and raring to go against Holland
It doesn't matter how many times people tell me that team 'A' will beat team 'B' easily, I will never believe until it happens. Jacques Kallis writes.Updated: Mar 03, 2011 00:21 IST
It doesn't matter how many times people tell me that team 'A' will beat team 'B' easily, I will never believe until it happens.
When I was a schoolboy, I used to take certain results for granted, and would then suffer the double pain of an upset. Likewise, if my team was the underdog, I remember that victory felt twice as good.
So, it really doesn't make any difference to my attitude or approach that we are playing against the Netherlands rather than one of the top ranked teams. I know many people would believe I say that to be 'politically correct', but it's the truth.
Even if the Netherlands hadn't scored 280-plus against England, even if we knew almost nothing about them, I know my preparation would be the same — and I'm sure the same applies to the rest of the team.
I'm convinced more upsets are caused by the favourites losing concentration than underdogs outplaying them.
Although I was quite happy to be one of the last teams to start, and I enjoyed an extra couple of days of rest and preparation, I must be honest that the last week has just started to drag a little!
I enjoy the format of the World Cup because I believe that having an extra couple of days between games is one of the things that makes the tournament different to every other series or competition. It makes it special — but two games in the two weeks is taking it to an extreme.
Half the teams have played three games already!
Once we get into the swing of things, however, and we approach the busy end of the tournament, perhaps the extra rest and slow start will help us to gain momentum when we need it.
But for a different set of circumstances I might actually have been a teammate of Netherlands' best player, Ryan ten Doeschate. Both of us went to school in Cape Town although he is five years younger to me.
By the time he was being selected for Western Province, I was lucky to be involved in the national squad and then, of course, his life changed when Essex offered him a trial and contract on a pre-season tour to Cape Town in 2003.
He has done brilliantly and has become quite a traveller, having played in five different countries - soon to be six when he joins me at the Kolkata Knight Riders.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote in my coloumn about how sad it is that there are fewer genuine all-rounders these days. I'd failed to mention 'Tendo' as one of the ones who is still going strong.