Proteas looking to St George’s for redemption

26 November 2013 9:28 AM

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THE Proteas will be out to redeem themselves against Pakistan in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday as they prepare themselves for the Indian tour to South Africa, says Wayne Parnell.

SA went down to Pakistan in Cape Town on Sunday in the first of the three-match ODI series to trail 1-0, but the Proteas left-arm seamer remains confident that his side can make a comeback and win the series that is the precursor to the Indian tour next month.

“We are disappointed with what happened in Cape Town — but, having said that, I feel the wicket was a bit harder than everyone made it out to be. We saw the wicket deteriorating in the afternoon, which made it difficult for stroke playing. In PE the wicket might be a bit slow, so we will be hoping to rectify things and to come back and level 1-1, and go on to win the series,” Parnell said on Monday.

St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth is Parnell’s home ground, and the 24- year-old is hoping to impress in front of his home crowd. And he believes the famous St George’s brass band will assist in motivating the team.

“I would be nice if I get an opportunity to play in front of the home fans, and the band always gives us a push. The wicket generally tends to get a bit slower in the afternoon, but I haven’t seen the wicket. Everyone’s looking forward to an improved performance after being 1-0 down, but we are pretty confident that we can bounce back,” he said.

Parnell added: “Facing Pakistan is nice preparation for when India comes over. Every international match for your country is an honour and we go out there to win. Pakistan are a quality limited overs team and these matches against them over the past few months have gotten us ready for the upcoming Indian and Australian tours.

He added that the bigger picture for the team is now next year’s Twenty20 World Cup as well as the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

“We want to win those series against India and Australia, but also looking forward to next year’s T20 World Cup and the 2015 World Cup. So the India and Australia tours we want to use as stepping stones towards that bigger picture. Testing ourselves against these quality teams is massive for the team.”

Parnell also said that he also remained hopeful of achieving his long-term goal of breaking through into the test side. He said he is getting as much knowledge from the more experienced players in the Proteas side, which will help him stake his claim in all formats.

“Test cricket is a long- term goal for me. At this point in time, I’m just happy to be back in the national setup as part of the limited-over sides after being out for quite a period of time. I’m not naïve, I know that we have some quality bowlers. Just to be part of the squad gives me confidence. I have full faith in my ability and it’s great that everyone backs me as well,” he said.

“I feel after being out of the Proteas setup, I now feel more confident knowing I have put in big performances. It feels like everyone is willing to help each other in getting better. That is something massive, especially for us younger guys to have the experienced guys sharing their invaluable knowledge. To get advice from guys like Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander is invaluable for me. Hopefully I can take all of that to spur me on to greater things.”


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