Dubai – Dwaine Pretorius has promised the Proteas will not release the energy valve when they face Bangladesh in the ICC T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
The Proteas have been involved in three consecutive high-intensity matches over the past week, in addition to the trauma experienced due to the Quinton de Kock #Kneegate scandal, which would no doubt have taken a huge toll on the players both physically and mentally.
They had the extra motivation in the last two matches against the West Indies and Sri Lanka of wanting to prove that the De Kock scandal has in fact brought them closer together as a team and were therefore running on pure adrenalin in both Dubai and Sharjah.
However, upon returning to Abu Dhabi where they lost their first match against Australia in a tense last-over thriller at the Sheikh Zayd Stadium, there is a fear that they may be operating on fumes just three days after their last match.
Pretorius, though, believes there is still plenty left in the tank and they will be fully-charged against the Tigers.
"I think to be honest with you, we've been really good in terms of our recovery protocols. Also the amount of energy we expend during training sessions, the medical staff and the coaching staff has been really hard on us by not doing anything that is unnecessary. So I think we're managing our energy levels really well," Pretorius said.
"And then obviously the basic one, you need to bring the passion. You need to bring the energy. Doesn't really matter how tired you are. We know back home there's a lot of people rooting for us and we really appreciate them. The worst thing we want to do is let them down. Every day we go on that line we make sure we leave everything on the field. I'm sure everyone will bring their highest intensity possible."
The 32-year-old is certainly relishing being back in the green and gold after a frustrating last year where he suffered a shoulder injury while taking a catch and was then struck down by Covid-19 which ruled him out of the tour to the West Indies.
He is, though, fully recovered and performing a crucial role with the ball, especially at the back end of the innings where he has taken ownership of the "finisher" role. Thus far Pretorius has proved successful too, picking up six wickets in his last two matches through a calculated gameplan and a variety of slower balls.
"I think the dangers at the death are being predictable. So I'm trying to vary my pace and my lengths quite a bit even though my line is the same, keeping the guys guessing.
"And then, like, I think I had another interview where I said I'm trying to make sure I'm bowling to the batters' plan Cs and Ds instead of their plan A. It's not an ego battle out there; it's trying to be effective as much as possible.
"If I can do a job for the team, again, and put us in a better situation, I'm willing to do that ugly job if you want to call it that – something that doesn't always necessarily look the prettiest but it's very effective."