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Exclusive: South Africa's Marco Jansen Quietly Confident Ahead of Afghanistan Semi-Final

South Africa's all-rounder Marco Jansen shares insights on the team's morale and preparations as they head into the semi-final against Afghanistan.

Nathan Gogela
Nathan Gogela

Last Updated: 2024-06-26

Louis Hobbs

8 minutes read

The Proteas booked their place in the semi-final after another narrow victory against host nation West Indies. 

Marco Jansen on Squad Morale 

Both all-rounder Marco Jansen and Head Coach Rob Walter gave their thoughts on the tournament thus far and what they will expect from a defiant Afghanistan side, who knocked out Australia following their win against Bangladesh in the last fixture of the Super 8.

"Mood in the camp at the moment is obviously very high, the team is in a good space. We are enjoying our time on the field," Jansen told SportsBoom.com

Image Credits: News24

Image Credits: News24

Rabada Collision 

Jansen's efforts with fielding on the boundary resulted in a collision with teammate Kagiso Rabada. Both players were assessed and Jansen seemed to be very amused about the collision.
 

Jansen jokingly replied, "I think you should rather ask KG [Rabada] how he's ribs are feeling. I am good, just got a bit winded. It was probably when I hit the ground but otherwise I am feeling good."

Captain Markram’s Leadership 

Speaking on Markram’s captaincy and how he has led the side, Jansen spoke very highly of Aiden and the way he has led the side and the decisions he has made on the field.

"He has been the best captain I have worked with, he always remains calm on the field. It sort of feels sometimes nothing phases him, we know sometimes on the inside he does feel it. The way he is, it makes me calm when I have the ball in my hand,” said Jansen. 

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The decisions he makes on the field, no one really questions it. We know why he is making those decisions and that is to put the team in a winning position.

Marco Jansen

Backing Reeza Hendricks Despite Form Slump 

The Proteas journey to the Semi-final has not been straight forward, with narrow victories and remain unbeaten heading into the semi-final against Afghanistan. Coach Walter gave his thoughts on their journey thus far and what he is hoping for in the playoffs.

"We obviously draw on whatever confidence we can take from the wins. We have won games having played well and won games having played not so well, which is always a good sign and we take as much as we can from each fixture. We have tried and took one fixture at a time on this journey and managed to string 7 together...2 more to go, hopefully not as close," said Walter.

It has not always been positive for the Proteas, as some players are going through a slump in form such as opener Reeza Hendricks who has averaged 10 in the World Cup so far.

"I will always back the guys [players] first, as I said for me in New York I will take those 3 [pool fixtures] away to be fair. If you look at his last innings, horrible way to be dismissed like that [edged down leg side to keeper]. It has happened before in other World Cup events, you start to put a microscope on the team because it is at a world event and we start to overlook at the performances that have come prior."

“Reeza, has been one of the standout T20 batters in our line-up for a while now. He deserves the opportunity to make a few errors and still feel trusted in our line-up. He certainly has my backing and I know a player with Reeza's qualities he is not far off. His best runs are still to come in this crucial part of this campaign," said Walter.

Preparing for Afghanistan

“I think what is important is to string in a complete performance whereby, both bat and ball function well on the day. We will try to assess the wicket and see how it might play. We do have a rough idea of what we will expect from them [Afghanistan] and different plans for each player,” said Walter.

Nathan Gogela
Nathan Gogela Sports Writer

Nathan has over a decade of knowledge and experience, both as a former professional sportsperson and journalist. Nathan, a former radio sports presenter and producer is an award-winning community radio sports producer/presenter.