The senior players will have an important role to play for the Castle Lager Proteas in their ICC Cricket World Cup quarter-final match against Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
Opening batsman Hashim Amla says the experienced campaigners in the squad will need to step up in Wednesday’s clash, as the squad looks to achieve what no South African team has done at World Cup events.
“There is no doubt that when you get to the knock-out stages you want to be the guy to score the big runs to put the team in a good position,” he said at the squad’s training session held in Blacktown on Sunday. “Everybody in the team, especially the senior guys, want to be the guys to make the big plays for us – with the bat, ball, and in the field.
The quarter-finals line-up was confirmed on Sunday after the West Indies defeated the UAE in Napier and Pakistan beat Ireland in Adelaide on the last day of the pool stage matches.
The results mean India has finished on top of Pool B, followed by South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies.
On Saturday, Pool A placing were confirmed with New Zealand claiming top spot, followed by Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
South Africa will go head to head with Sri Lanka in the first quarter-final in Sydney on Wednesday (18 March), while defending champion India will square off against Bangladesh in Melbourne on Thursday (19 March).
Four-time former champion Australia will take on 1992 winner Pakistan in the third quarter-final on Friday (20 March) in Adelaide, and the last quarter-final will be between New Zealand and the West Indies in Wellington on Saturday (21 March).
Amla says the squad is motivated to improve on the failures of past World Cups, and will be embracing the expectation of the occasion.