Proteas to take inspiration, not pressure, from Springboks' World Cup exploits

Proteas to take inspiration, not pressure, from Springboks' World Cup exploits

Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter believes the cricket team can take plenty of inspiration from the Springboks' Rugby World Cup exploits in France as the baton is passed over to India.

While South Africans are in a state of celebration over a record fourth Webb Ellis Trophy scheduled to touch down at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday, one eye remains with the national cricket team gunning for a maiden Cricket World Cup title.

Walter, who seems to have transformed the Proteas' fortunes on the big stage – with five wins from six matches and the team looking odds-on to secure a semi-final berth, feels there is inspiration aplenty to take from the Boks' triumph over New Zealand in Paris.

"We were all together for the game, the boys love their rugby. So, it was awesome to share that moment. It's all been said before about the Springbok side, they continue to inspire and give hope - certainly to us as a team.  To see what they've done and the levels that they've reached is just an inspiration to us as a team really," Walter told the media. 

Temba Bavuma and company will also meet the Kiwis in their next encounter in Pune on Wednesday but, rather than feeling pressure, Walter insists there is a greater sense of motivation from their rugby counterparts.

"To be honest, I think winning the World Cup for cricket is as much as now as it was before. I don't think it becomes anymore because the Boks have won. For us, it's an inspiration for how they won. 

"Hopefully, that can be something that catalyses us moving forward even more so than the cricket we've played already. It seems, maybe, the media attention will shift to us now. But, we've spoken about what we can take from that as opposed to how it impacts us from a pressure point of view. 

"Rugby is rugby, they've done very well over a long period of time. They've doubled up on World Cups, we're yet to get over that line. So, just trying to take care of our own business and take the learnings and inspiration from the rugby side." 

Meanwhile, there is also plenty of inspiration from within as a resilient display against Pakistan last Saturday produced a dramatic one-wicket victory, further reinforcing the belief that the current Proteas crop may well rid themselves of the infamous 'chokers' tag.