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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


Pollock dismisses McGrath's jibes

March 14, 2007 21:14 IST

All-rounder Shaun Pollock has dismissed Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath's belief that South Africa are vulnerable under pressure.

"People are entitled to their own opinions, but we're not worried about the pressure situations," Pollock said in a news conference on Wednesday.

"In fact, we're looking forward to dealing with them. They're going to arrive and if you want to win the World Cup you're going to have to play in some pressure situations."

McGrath had told reporters on Tuesday that South Africa "don't handle pressure as well as the Australian team".

"The fact that they're ranked number one means there is a lot more pressure on them to hold that position," McGrath said.

"I always thought they feared losing rather than actually backing themselves to win."

DEFINING MOMENTS

South Africa and Australia meet in a Group A match in St Kitts on March 24, a game that looms as one of the defining moments of the 2007 World Cup.

Pollock said the South Africans would keep an eye on Australia's match against Scotland at the same venue on Wednesday to check on the likely conditions.

"We'll be quite keen to see whether it's going to be a bowl-first tournament," Pollock said.

"On our last two tours to the West Indies we've found that the pitches tend to do a bit up front in the first 45 minutes, and we'll be monitoring that today."

South Africa begin their campaign against the Netherlands on Friday before taking on Scotland on Tuesday. Pollock said the South Africans are determined to deliver emphatic performances in those matches.

"We would be expected to beat the first two teams we come against, although we're not taking that for granted," Pollock said.

"If we win those games well and settle into our rhythms -- get some runs and wickets under the belt -- that will help us looking ahead to the game against Australia.

"Moving from playing the lesser sides, who we should beat, straight on to playing Australia is quite a jump.

"So we can't afford to be off the mark against the Netherlands and Scotland."

Pollock said some of the Netherlands' tactics would force changes in South Africa's approach.

"The Dutch don't have too many express bowlers," he said. "I know their wicketkeeper stands up to the stumps pretty much for the whole innings, which means you have to adopt a different game plan when you're batting because you have to keep your feet in the crease."

Pollock and all-rounder Jacques Kallis will play in their fourth World Cup.

The only other South Africans to play in four World Cup tournaments are fast bowler Allan Donald and batsman Jonty Rhodes.


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