The ‘chokers’ tag has been associated with South Africa for a long time now. The Proteas have entered the semifinals four times but never gone on feature in the marquee clash. Ahead of 2019 World Cup, South African skipper Faf du Plessis wants his teams to get the basics right and not try to do anything extraordinary every time they take the field.
"In previous World Cups, we wanted to do Superman things. We thought we had to be more special, we had to do something more than we usually do, and we did not do what was good enough before," Du Plessis was quoted by the ICC.
"We haven’t always got that right in the past, to play our best cricket at the World Cup, because we put so much pressure on ourselves. We want to just focus on enjoying our cricket," he added.
Du Plessis has been a part of the South African team in two World Cups. The veteran understands that it is the pressure that gets the better of the players most of the time.
"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," he said.
The current South Africa World Cup squad has eight members who will be playing in the mega tournament for the first time. The 34-year-old intends to help them cope with the immense level of pressures.
"We started a year or two ago with a real focus on mental preparation and, as a captain, I probably speak more about that than previous captains. But I really believe it’s an area we can get better in. I’ve been there and I know the pressures, I understand how to deal with them."
The third-ranked ODI team will take on England in the opening match of World Cup 2019 on May 30 at Kennington Oval, London.