SA coach Gibson says he is 99.9 percent sure of who will go to the World Cup
SA coach Ottis Gibson says he is 99.9 percent sure of who will go to the ICC World Cup in England in May and he is crossing his fingers that his plans will not be affected by injury disruptions.
The Proteas have two warm-up matches against Sri Lanka and the West Indies upon arrival in England before they start the tournament against the hosts at the Oval on May 30.
Injuries remain a constant possibility for Gibson as some of his players are currently playing in the marathon IPL in India while others have the domestic Momentum One Day Cup and the CSA T20 competition to contend with.
“We sort of know 99.9 percent of who we want to take on the plane with us‚” he said.
South Africa will be looking for a good start against England but Gibson conceded that injuries could throw his preparations into disarray.
“We have to sit with fingers crossed because my experience of the IPL is that there is always somebody coming back with an injury‚" he said.
"We just have to pray that none of our guys pick up something that is too serious and will rule them out of the tournament.
“The IPL is there‚ the domestic season is still to be finished and we have advised the players about the big picture which is the Proteas.
"All the guys who have gone to the IPL have been given individual programmes around their fitness and cricket to make sure that when we get together on the May 12 there are no niggling injuries.
"We don’t want to be taking injuries into the World Cup and hopefully everybody will come back healthy and fit.”
Gibson said that the players must be mentally prepared to handle different high pressure situations if they are to be successful at the World Cup.
“It is something that we have been working on‚ just like we have been working on technical and tactical issues‚" he said.
"We have been working on the mental side of the game as well.
"At the end of the day when you are in the heat of the battle you have to be able to stay calm‚ keep a clear mind and execute the plans.
“We have practicing game plans for a while now.
"We have been putting people in situations that we think we can use at the World Cup.
"We have used different bowling attacks and you have seen two spinners playing at the same time together.
"You have seen batsmen moving up and down the order.
"We feel that if we get the 15 guys that we want‚ we will have a lot of variation and how we set up the team.”