South Africa aim India, Pakistan series for World Cup build-up

After being knocked out of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy in the semifinal by the West Indies, South Africa are now aiming to get back to winning ways when they take on India and Pakistan in separate home contests over the next three months.

India will arrive in South Africa in the middle of the month for five One-day Internationals (ODIs) and three Tests, while Pakistan come in January with a similar itinerary.

South African coach Micky Arthur hoped that the team could prepare for next year’s World Cup with good results on home soil. “We beat Pakistan and Sri Lanka in their backyard and hope to do the same against the Indians. We have the team to topple any team in the world. The team we have at the moment will be the one we will prepare for the World Cup,” Arthur said when he returned with his team after the high-profile ICC event in India.

Captain Graeme Smith denied that the team ‘choked’ in the semifinal against the West Indies. “We just came up against a highly-charged West Indian side, particularly Chris Gayle and Shivnaraine Chanderpaul,” Smith stated. “But we progressed very well in the tournament after losing our first match against New Zealand.

“We believe we will have the opportunity to make up against the Indian and Pakistan teams. We have the players to do very well against both the teams,” Smith insisted.

Source:The News

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