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‘We’re here to win the World Cup, otherwise why would we be here?’ asks Rabada

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South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada celebrates after taking the wicket of Australia’s David Warner during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match on Saturday. Picture: Indranil Mukherjee, AFP

Despite seeing the West Indies’ batting line-up collapse against England, Kagiso Rabada insists the Proteas will not be taking the defending champions lightly.

DUBAI – Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada insisted there is no point dwelling on his side’s opening Super 12 loss to Australia ahead of the game against the West Indies.

Temba Bavuma’s men registered a below-par 118/9 batting first at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi but almost managed to pull off an unlikely win before a match-winning partnership of 40 off 26 balls between Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade saw Australia home with two balls to spare.

South Africa now face the West Indies, who had an even tougher time of it against England in a repeat of the ICC Men’s World T20 2016 final after being dismissed for just 55 on their way to a six-wicket defeat.

“It’s just one game that we couldn’t get over the line. Why be negative about it? Be positive,” said Rabada, who scored 19 lower-order runs and took 1/28 in his four overs in his side’s first hit out in the competition.

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“Yeah, it obviously wasn’t the ideal start with the bat, and rarely do you ever have a perfect cricket game, although you would want both departments to balance out or balance each other out.

“If you also have a look at Australia, as well, we bowled extremely well, but yeah, their bowling outshined their batting, too.

“So I guess it was probably a day for bowling, but in saying that, it’s no excuse. We know that we have to perform well in all departments. We’ve analysed what we have needed to do, and the guys are on it at the training grounds.

“At the end of the day we need to rock up with proper intensity and play close to our best. That’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to win the World Cup, otherwise why would we be here?”

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Despite seeing the West Indies’ batting line-up collapse against England, Rabada insists South Africa will not be taking the defending champions lightly when they face off in Dubai on Tuesday.

“They’re a dangerous team. You can’t underestimate anyone,” he added.

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“We’re going to have to go and be as disciplined as we were in our first game [with the ball]. We cannot take anything for granted.”

West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick said making sure the players are enjoying themselves is the key to regaining form after the heavy defeat to England.

He said: “Well, one bad game doesn’t make a summer. We realise we had a bad game. We’ve had a chat about it. The players had some volleyball yesterday to help them to relax, to try to build some team spirit.

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“The one thing you can do is, once you lose a game you can look for all the excuses in the world. You can nitpick all you want. You’ve got to back the players.

“Our job is to get the players up, make sure they remain confident, make sure they still believe in their ability. Make sure the dressing room is still a happy place and let them go enjoy the game of cricket, because that’s why they started playing.

“You start playing cricket because you enjoy doing it. They’re fortunate enough that they become international superstars and they are representing their country.

“But at the end of the day, it’s all about enjoyment. And once the enjoyment comes first and the attitude is right, then your skill level will remain high, and your discipline will remain very high.”

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