When it comes to big tournaments such as the World Cup, South Africa is perhaps the first team that falls in the list of being counted as favourites almost everytime. But their habit of choking out in the pressure situations has been the big time worry for the Proteas team. They enter every tournament with a pretty quality side that can create history against every single opponent, but somehow, they manage to fall under the barrel at the penultimate moment.
The same thing is worrying the South African captain Faf du Plessis, who doesn’t wants the players to enter the showpiece event with a fear of failure. He reckoned that it is very important for them to recognize their own strengths and play with their best of abilities.
"I've been there and I know the pressures, I understand how to deal with them. There's a reason why we want the guys to play freely - because we don't want them to have a fear of failure, which is what the World Cup is for some of them. Our success in England over the next couple of months depends on how well we release that aspect of our play - we need that for the team to be at our best. Each player needs to find out his own strengths,” quoted Faf du Plessis.
We have been doing this consistently
Faf revealed that they always believed one had to be special to win the World Cup, but it is not the case now. He noted that his team has performed consistently in the recent few months and have been doing the basics very well.
"We believed you had to be really special to win the World Cup, that you had to do something more than you usually do, which is not true. Whatever we've been doing consistently, the way we've played while beating teams that will work. We have to do the basics as well as possible, teams don't win the World Cup by someone scoring a century off 50 balls or taking 7 for 20,” the Proteas skipper inferred.
"The players relate better to fellow players and I'm on the same level as the coach when it comes to the importance of the mental side. I'm a big believer in positive visualisation, how to remain calm, and I feel it has had value for my own game. So I can relate that to the players, how important it is to be present in the moment; for instance when there's been a dropped catch, there's nothing you can do about it and it's about how you change your mindset to make sure you are still strong mentally," du Plessis added.