Losing is never fun, but South Africa won’t fret if they fail to come up trumps during their five-match one-day series against Australia, according to skipper AB de Villiers.
South Africa are using the series as a major launching pad towards next year’s World Cup, which will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The Proteas have endured plenty of World Cup heartache over the years, with the cricketing powerhouse having never even reached the final.
De Villiers would love nothing more than to tune up for the big event by guiding his side to a series win against Australia.
But he said it could also be a blessing in disguise if his team happened to lose.
“It’s important to know it’s not the be all and end all. It’s certainly not the end of the world if we lose,” de Villiers said ahead of Friday’s series opener against Australia at the WACA Ground.
“Without me jinxing ourselves, it’s not a bad thing to lose a couple of cricket games over here, so we at least know, ‘Ok, this is an area we should improve, maybe this will work against Australia, maybe not’.
“But it would be massive to win it.
“Australia’s one of the favourites to win the World Cup. They are very good in their own conditions.
“So for us to win here would mean a lot of confidence, momentum and belief going into the tournament.”
South Africa will enter the World Cup as one of the favourites, and it’s not hard to understand why.
On form, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla and de Villiers are three of the best batsmen in the world, while Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel form a lethal duo with the new ball.
Star all-rounder JP Duminy, who will miss the one-day series with a knee injury, should be fit in time for the World Cup.
De Villiers said the one-day tour of Australia was the perfect preparation for cricket’s showpiece event.
“I feel we’re doing everything we can, covering all bases,” de Villiers said.
“We’re not doing something stupid; not being overly clever or getting too fancy.
“We just want to play proper cricket games.”