Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
29 Oct 2021
8:01 am

‘We want to make people proud’ – Proteas stand united

Ken Borland

Playing Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Saturday will be the biggest trial by spin the Proteas have faced in the tournament thus far.

David Miller and Proteas captain Temba Bavuma celebrate a wicket during their match against West Indies earlier this week. Picture: Getty Images

A divided house will never stand, and Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen said on Thursday that the determination and fight the team had shown in both their T20 World Cup matches thus far had proven the unity and dedication to their task within the squad.

South Africa made a disastrous start to the tournament by losing three wickets in the first 25 balls of their match against Australia, but they almost defended their mediocre total of 118-9 with a superb display in the field.

Before their second game against the West Indies, they were rocked by the CSA board’s directive for them to take the knee in support of BLM and Quinton de Kock’s subsequent withdrawal from the match when they arrived at the ground. After a torrid first 10 overs, they fought to restrict the West Indies to 143-8, a total they chased down with aplomb.

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“It was a big day for us with everything that had transpired before,” Van der Dussen said on Thursday.

“We knew we had to get the win but the West Indies are always a massive threat, especially when they also lost their first game.

“I was really proud of how the team stood up, proud of the spirit. We showed what we can do and that there’s real resilience and character in the team.

“The enormity of the occasion did not escape us and what happened almost made the result even more important. We wanted to make people proud and left everything on the field.”

Rassie van der Dussen
Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen plays a shot during the T20 World Cup in the UAE. Picture: Gallo Images

Playing Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Saturday will be the biggest trial by spin the Proteas have faced up till now in the tournament, but Van der Dussen said they had trained for the occasion for more than a year now.

“Sharjah will probably suit Sri Lanka more than us, but we have shown that we have really improved in foreign conditions,” he said.

“The coaching staff started more than a year ago to put a lot of emphasis on upskilling us in conditions we didn’t grow up in.

“The way we approach spin has improved a lot. We have confidence because we know now we have the skill and the experience of winning matches in conditions like that.”