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Tough to change winning team - De Villiers

Official News · 

South Africa captain AB De Villiers was unwilling to give too much away about selection, but it appears Vernon Philander is set to miss out against New Zealand.

Philander has battled injury at the Cricket World Cup, and Kyle Abbott has replaced him in style - taking nine wickets at just 14.44.

Abbott took 1-27 in South Africa's resounding quarter-final win over Sri Lanka.

Speaking at a media conference on Monday, De Villiers said it would be tough to change that team for Tuesday's semi-final in Auckland.

"A difficult selection for us. Well, the whole squad is ready to go, and there are a few boys that have put up their hands in the World Cup, so it's difficult," he said.

"It's really difficult, especially after a win like the last one. It's tough to change the squad and the team that played.

"But we might have to have a look at a couple of combinations, a couple of possibilities that might strengthen our team.

"Obviously, ideally, I would have liked to have turned out our team before the game, but yeah, we're pretty confident with our thinking process at the moment."

De Villiers is confident South Africa, who have never reached a World Cup final, can deal with whatever is thrown at them by the Black Caps.

"We're expecting the unexpected," he said.

"In knockout games things don't always go your way. In World Cups they don't always go your way.

"Whatever gets thrown at us tomorrow, I believe we have the right personnel to deal with that.

"New Zealand is normally a gentlemanlike team to play against, but sometimes they do come out and go for what they want, and we're expecting that.

"I don't think there will be any surprises tomorrow. It's just up to us to really deal with whatever comes our way.

"I personally don't like to get involved vocally too much. It's all about the confidence and the body language. I think I say enough with the way I go about my business personally as a player, and I'm expecting the team to do the same."

European World Cup Qualifiers

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Nabin Thapa 301 pts
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Paul Kirwan 300 pts
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Emanuel Todorov 299 pts