Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

Cricket World Cup 2019: Gibson happy to take on England first up

Coach Ottis Gibson of South Africa during the 2019 Cricket World Cup press conference at Southern Sun OR Tambo on 18 May 2019. Pic Lebo Edgar/BackPagePixGibson has done all he can to prepare the Proteas for the Cricket World Cup and its all down to Faf du Plessis and the boys now.

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Proteas coach Ottis Gibson believes that facing England in the opening match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup will give his team a sense of where they are and what they need to do going forward.

There could be no better standard for the Proteas to measure themselves against than Eoin Morgan’s England, who start the tournament ranked number one in ODI cricket.

Gibson feels there are some in and around the England camp who feel the World Cup trophy is theirs to lose.

Proteas Cricket World Cup squad

“I heard somewhere that my two very good friends Broad and Anderson have said that England will have to do something really bad not to win this World Cup,” recalled Gibson, who knows Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson well from his time as England bowling coach. Broad and Anderson no longer play ODI cricket.

“As far as they are concerned England have won it already.”

The Proteas will be without Dale Steyn but are otherwise expected to play what they believe is their strongest XI on Thursday. Gibson believes that a loss to England in the opening match would not be the end of the world.

The top four teams from the open pool of ten will go through to the semi-finals but there is little to no advantage given to the team that finishes first. In the event of a tie in a knockout match there will be a super over.

“To play the hosts, the number one team, is the best way to start, because it gives us a real sense of where we are and what we need to do going forward,” added Gibson.

“But you don’t have to be number one to win the tournament and sometimes you can win the tournament and you don’t even go to number one.”

If the weather plays along Eoin Morgan and Faf Du Plessis will toss the coin at 11:00 SAST with play scheduled to start at 11:30 SAST.

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