Mirpur: India and South Africa teams trained hard to make sure that they are strong in all departments of the game. While Indians followed the usual rule of not meeting the media except the day before the match, South African cricketers Hashim Amla and J.P. Duminy freely talked to the journalists.
Indians often loosen up playing soccer and it gave a scare to everyone when on Tuesday evening their star batsman Yuvraj Singh was seen limping out. The entire team play soccer with bare feet following the instruction of their fitness trainer.
When asked about the enthusiasm with which Indian team plays soccer, Indian off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin remarked: “The camp is pretty upbeat in terms of having some good soccer. We’ve enjoyed ourselves. You keep playing cricket all your life so playing soccer gives you leisure time. Those are the things we’re associating with most times.”
Everyone is hoping that Singh who cracked a 43-ball 60 runs against Australia is fit and continues his form.
The South African team were into serious practice. When Amla was asked about his team meeting an inform Indian side, he said: “We have to play against whoever you get drawn in, it’s out of your hand. It’s a good opportunity for us. We have played some good cricket, won some close games and that is as hard as our team has ever been,” he said.
Does he think India is in terrific form? Amla said: “Very difficult to say before the game. Any team can win on a given day.”
Duminy was more forthright in his views: “We have been successful in the last few games but does not mean we will be successful again. We know that Indian spinners will be key components to their teams. We know it’s going to be a big challenge for us. Spinners have bowled exceptionally well against us. We want to put up a big performance against their spinners. Sort of played against them in number of times. It’s a big game. Semi-final of a World Cup, doesn’t get bigger than this ever.”
When Duminy was asked about India’s strike bowler Amit Mishra, Duminy said: “Look it’s not only me who has played against him but all the other guys have also played against him. You kind of know what to expect. He has been on top form for India in this tournament. Definitely not going to take him lightly. We will do our homework and see that our game plan is in order.”