Even taking into account the loss of Anrich Nortjé and Sisanda Magala on the eve of the tournament, the emphasis remained on the quicks to put them on the front foot.
And so far it has proved to be a recipe for success. The Proteas have three fast bowlers – Kagiso Rabada, Gerald Coetzee and Marco Jansen – all among the leading wicket-takers at the tournament with 10 wickets each.
However, with the tournament stretched far and wide across India, they also spoke about being adaptable and able to play the conditions on the day.
They will need to showcase this today (10.30am start) when they meet Pakistan in Chennai, having travelled 1317km from the west coast of India all the way to the east.
The MA Chidambaram Stadium is a much more traditional sub-continental surface that suits spinners.
This has resulted in no team being able to pass the 300-run mark in the four World Cup matches played there, while left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja (India), Mitchell Santner (New Zealand) and Noor Ahmad (Afghanistan) have all shone at the ground.
Ahmad was devastating in Afghanistan’s win over Pakistan, which has prompted the Proteas to mull over recalling Tabraiz Shamsi today.
“We haven’t seen the wicket. It’s still under covers, but you can expect for Shamsi to come into play,” said fit-again captain Temba Bavuma.
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The tour of all tours comes to Mzansi this summer as the Proteas take on India ☀️
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But it is not just the bowling strategies that have to be altered.
South Africa have the three highest totals at this World Cup, although they have all come while batting first and it has not gone amiss that the Proteas’ only World Cup defeat – to the Netherlands – occurred while chasing.
This could leave Bavuma with a conundrum should he win the toss, for three of the four World Cup matches played at the venue have also been won by the team batting second.
“We’ll assess the wicket and come up with options. If the opportunity is there to score 350, we’ll do so. If not, we’ll make sure we play what’s happening in front of us as best as we can,” Bavuma said.