'National pride' to be Proteas primary focus in CT semi with England, says De Villiers

Johannesburg, June 18 (ANI): South African captain AB de Villiers has said that national pride will be the primary focus of his team when they take on England in the first semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval on Wednesday.

Ahead of what is arguably what is one of his toughest tests as a captain, De Villiers however, said that his team is privileged to be in this position, adding that they have an opportunity to make their country proud and that they are going to take full advantage of that, Sport24 reports.

Stating that his team is humbled by the fact that they made it past two virtual knock-out matches and into the semi-finals of the eight-nation tournament, De Villiers dismissed South Africa's lowly ODI record in the UK in recent years, and insisted it was an even contest going into the knock-out encounter.

According to De Villiers, both England and South Africa have played very well in the tournament, adding that he does not think that any team will go into the match with an extra advantage.

Stating that his team takes confidence from the fact that they have won two knock-out games in a row, the Proteas skipper however, admitted that the fact may not give them an edge as they would be playing in front of a big home crowd under England's home conditions.

De Villiers further said that they have a 50-50 chance of winning, adding that success will come to the team that has the right attitude and can take the momentum early on and have success with it.

Meanwhile, De Villiers accepted the choker tag that has saddled the team for long, saying that unless they win the tournament, people will still call them chokers, although he added that the team is in a good space at the moment and is not bothered with the tag.

The match will be a true test of character and skill for a young, yet impressive ODI unit, and if the class of 2013 passes, it will go a long way in banishing the demons, which have plagued South African cricket for many years, the report added. (ANI)

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