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South Africa has the edge over Kiwis: Pollock
February 15, 2003 19:33 IST
South Africa captain Shaun Pollock is confident his side will have an important psychological edge when they take on New Zealand in a World Cup Group B match on Sunday.
New Zealand have not won a one-day international on South African soil in 11 attempts and, with 34,000 fans at The Wanderers roaring South Africa on, Pollock believes this will give his team a significant advantage.
"You will probably find there is a mental edge," Pollock told a news conference on Saturday. "We've played well against them over the years and it's up to them to turn it around.
"They do realise that we've played well against them and that's very difficult to forget."
South Africa go into their third Cup game without talisman Jonty Rhodes, who was ruled out of the tournament after breaking a bone in his hand during the 10-wicket win over Kenya on Wednesday.
Although Pollock conceded Rhodes would certainly be missed, he was confident that young left-hander Graeme Smith would prove an able replacement.
"Jonty will be missed, there's no doubt about that," he said. "He was a quality player and very much a part of the spirit of the side.
"Graeme on the other side is a similar kind of person -- he's very bubbly and gets the boys going. I'm not saying he can replace Jonty but, although it might sound harsh, we've got to put sentiment behind us and move on.
"Jonty played a part, but this 15 that go ahead are the guys we must focus on. In a way, we must forget about Jonty and concentrate on what we've got," Pollock said.
The 22-year-old Smith is likely to come into the side to play New Zealand as the number three batsman, with Boeta Dippenaar dropping down the order from number three.
Pollock confirmed a 12-man squad for Saturday's game, with Charl Langeveldt, Robin Peterson and Monde Zondeki the players to miss out.
South African squad: Herschelle Gibbs, Graeme Smith, Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis, Boeta Dippenaar, Mark Boucher, Lance Klusener, Shaun Pollock (captain), Nicky Boje, Andrew Hall, Allan Donald, Makhaya Ntini.
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