Tough Proteas want to be mentally in a good space ahead of ICC Champions Trophy

Cardiff (Wales), June 6 (ANI): South African cricket captain A.B. De Villiers has said that his team is tough, and would like to be in a good space mentally, when they take on their opponents in the ICC Champions Trophy that begins from today (Thursday).

Speaking ahead of South Africa's opening encounter with India here, De Villiers said: "There is no reason whatsoever to be over positive coming into England. We have not spent a lot of time as yet, just that the Holland camp was for team building. Getting mentally in a good space, a bit tougher than anything else, not really high or positive. We come here as a tough team, feel radiant and strong."

Commenting on the teams that South Africa will face in Group B i.e. India, Pakistan and the West Indies, De Villiers said: "I want to say that it is a very tough group and we know that we are up against a very good opposition. Even the other groups are all really good teams."

"There is no room to hide in these kind of tournaments. We have experienced that before. I think the team that won in the year 1998 was a very good team, and we would obviously like to repeat that. We don't have the likes of Kallis or Smith here. But I feel there is a very good energy in this side," he added.

South Africa has not had a smooth run in the warm up matches before the tournament, as they were beaten by Pakistan on June 3.

India, on the other hand, has won both of its warm up matches against Sri Lanka and Australia.

De Villiers pointed out that though India is a strong opponent, they still hope to repeat the magic of 1998 when South Africa won the first Champions Trophy tournament.

The Champions Trophy is the second biggest one-day tournament played between all the Test playing nations, the first being the World Cup.

Two groups with four teams each participate in a round-robin format in the first round with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the semi-final.

India is placed in Group B, along with South Africa, Pakistan and the West Indies.

Group A consists of Australia, England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

The final will be played on June 23. (ANI)


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