Proteas remain positive as they look to shift the ODI momentum


South Africa's Kagiso Rabada celebrates the wicket of England captain Eoin Morgan during the second One-Day International between England and South Africa of the South Africa in England series in Southampton on May 27, 2017.

CAPE TOWN - Standard Bank Proteas fast bowler, Kagiso Rabada, says the squad will need to maintain a positive mindset as they prepare for a series-defining performance in the third Momentum One-Day International (ODI) against India at PPC Newlands on Wednesday. The Proteas trail India 2-0 in the six-match series, and need nothing less than a perfect four out of four wins to lift the series trophy next week.

The marathon winning streak will need to start at a happy hunting ground in PPC Newlands, a venue where they have only lost five out of 33 matches played. Rabada says that, although the squad has put in two below-par performances, the mood and attitude in the camp remains positive and upbeat.

“It’s important that we keep speaking the right language in the team environment,” he said to the media at Newlands on Tuesday. “We have to stay positive, we have to get as much momentum as we can from this match, and we are definitely not out of it.

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“ I wouldn’t say that there are a lot of problems,” he said. “Sometimes when you do badly it seems like a lot more is going wrong than what is really happening. Failure is going to happen, hopefully, in the next match we bounce back and get some momentum.

“In an ideal world and an ideal game a lot of players will score the runs and take the wickets and sometimes you will get individual brilliance, we will take either or,” Rabada said when asked what is needed to win. “We are experienced enough to know that sports is a game of ups and downs, anything can happen on the day. We need to go back, see where we are going wrong, calm down and then do the business on the field. We are looking to turn the momentum over.”

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The Proteas have been setback by the injuries to AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock, but will have an earlier than expected look at the potential of the next tier of batsmen in their absence. Multiply Titans wicket-keeper batsman, Heinrich Klaasen, is set to debut behind the stumps, and comes in with confidence and form after finishing as the third highest runs-scorer – 522 runs at an average of 52.20- in the recently concluded Momentum One-Day Cup.

“Injuries give other players a chance,” Rabada explained. “We have some players who have been doing well at franchise cricket for a while. Those three names who have dropped out of the team, they are irreplaceable at the moment, but this will be an opportunity to widen the pool and for other players to experience international cricket.”