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South Africa Seek To Drop Chokers Tag

South Africa will have one of their last chances to test their abilities tomorrow, when they face southern neighbours Zimbabwe in a warm-up match.

The Proteas will be high on confidence after last month’s win against World Cup favourites India, and will look to gain some vital match at the refurbished M A Chidambaram Stadium. 

There were no surprises this week when captain Graeme Smith suggested that the African unit had come to win, with many enthusiasts believing that the Proteas should have at least bagged one tournament by now.

Having lost three semi-finals and a quarterfinal, despite being title contenders in their past five World Cup appearances, the Proteas have yet to complete the task.

A major concern heading into the match is the fitness of veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who is recovering from a rib injury suffered during the series against India.

Although it is already indicated that Kallis will not bowl against Zimbabwe, it is uncertain as to how he might handle out in the middle.

South Africa head into this game, and the tournament, with their most varied spin attack to date.

Pakistan-born uncapped leg-spinner Imran Tahir is tipped to be the star for the Proteas, who also harbour two other frontline spinners in Johan Botha and Robin Peterson.

As can be expected South Africa will be spearheaded by Dale Steyn in the pace department.

The batting lineup will be bulked up by the likes of AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Morne van Wyk, and the in-form Hashim Amla, who has consistently done well against India.

At the other end, it is no secret that Zimbabwe are currently in a phase of rebuilding and have nothing to lose.

Having upset Australia in a warm up tie against Australia during the T-20 World Cup in April last year, they will be looking to put one over their more high profile southern neighbours today. 

Coached by former England international Alan Butcher, Zimbabwe has won just eight of 46 matches and will most certainly walk in as underdogs. 

Skippered by all-rounder Elton Chigumbura, Zimbabwe are hoping that success in a warm up in Dubai earlier in the week, coupled with inputs from West Indian legend Brain Lara, will add a touch of flair to their tournament ambitions.

This will be a hard fought match, as is traditional between these neighbours and could see South Africa adopting a game plan that will be evident against West Indies at their opener in a few days time.

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