Rassie van der Dussen says the Proteas have turned their attention to hosts India after securing a huge 190-run win over New Zealand on Wednesday.
Rassie van der Dussen urged South Africa to remember they had beaten India on the hosts’ home turf before as they prepared to face their fellow World Cup title contenders after his century helped set-up the Proteas’ 190-run rout of New Zealand.
Van der Dussen made 133, his second hundred of the tournament and Quinton de Kock 114 — his fourth — as South Africa piled up 357/4 in Pune on Wednesday, with the pair sharing a second-wicket partnership of exactly 200.
New Zealand were never in the hunt, slumping to 167 all out after succumbing to both the Proteas’ pacemen and the spin of Keshav Maharaj, who took 4/46.
South Africa, bidding for their first World Cup title, are now top of the 10-team table and virtually assured of a semi-final spot.
India are the only unbeaten team left in the event heading into their seventh of nine pool games, against Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Thursday.
Van der Dussen made no attempt to down play the extent of the challenge confronting South Africa ahead of Sunday’s clash in Kolkata with the in-form hosts.
“Playing India in India is a massive event,” the 34-year-old told reporters in Pune.
“They’ve been playing really well…They’ve got all bases covered, a brilliant bowling attack and obviously the batting as well.
“But we’ll go into that game knowing that if we do the things well that we want to do, we’ll be in a really strong position. The challenge is to do that under pressure, to stay with that.
“But we’ve played them here before and we’ve beaten them here (in India) before. So even though it’s a World Cup, it’s not really too much different.”
South Africa defeated India by nine runs in Lucknow in October 2022 although the home team clinched the series.
When the two countries met in Mumbai in 2015, South Africa famously routed India by 214 runs with De Kock making a century and fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, also part of the current World Cup squad, claiming four wickets.
De Kock’s innings on Wednesday saw him become the first batsman at this World Cup to break through the 500-run barrier, the left-handed opener continuing his superb form in what the 30-year-old has insisted will be a last major tournament before he bows out of one-day internationals.
“It’s been so good to have ‘Quinny’,” said Van der Dussen.
“He has a determination about him that I haven’t seen in a very long time. He’s ploughing back into the team in all aspects, in the bowling meetings, in the batting meetings, being one of our senior guys.”
Van der Dussen added: “The guys really feed off him. He’s one of my favourite guys to bat with. He really guided me through my innings today. At times I was under pressure and I was asking him about a few options.
“He’s such a cool and calm guy out there, thinks so clearly. It was just great to bat with him. But he’s been brilliant in the last few weeks.”