SA will show no mercy to Zimbabwe’

JACQUES Kallis has promised his side will show no mercy to Zimbabwe in their three-match ODI series due to begin at Goodyear Park in Bloemfontein toay.

Kallis, standing in for Graeme Smith as captain, said his side will play as hard against Zimbabwe as they would against

Australia as South Africa begin a season that will culminate with the World Cup in the West Indies next April.

Kallis was quoted on a South African website as saying that the series would be ideal for a group of players, including himself, who have been out of action for a while.

“This series is especially valuable for the players who have not been in action for a while. This is a good way for them to get back into things,” he said.

Kallis, who returns to international cricket after missing the tour to Sri Lanka with an elbow injury, confirmed that everything the Proteas do from now on would be with the World Cup tournament firmly in mind.

The stand-in skipper has also had a bout of flu and was one of three players who did not participate in the team’s fitness tests at the University of the Free State on Wednesday.

Kallis said he had just about shaken off a cold and that the elbow injury that had kept him out of the game was not troubling him much any more.

“I have hit a few balls that were thrown to me. The high-intensity net practices during the next few days will be the real test. I believe I’ll be ready,” he said.

Mickey Arthur, South Africa coach, said the series would be useful for the Champions Trophy.

“I expect Zimbabwe to be very competitive, but we are going to focus on our own performance. One could use these fixtures as practice matches, but we would rather ensure that our combinations and match-plans are in place for India,” Arthur said.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe were crushed by franchise side Eagles by nine wickets  at Kimberley in the opening match, a Twenty20, of their South African tour on Wednesday.

It was a poor warm-up for Zimbabwe who face more daunting opposition today. — Cricinfo.

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