South Africa not ready to handle No.1 mantle: Arthur

January 29th, 2009 - 3:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Jan 29 (ANI): South African coach Mickey Arthur believes that being the No.1 ranked cricket nation is not an easy task, and his one-day side is not quite ready to deal with the pressure and expectations that comes along with it.

The Proteas can overtake Australia onto top spot on the one-day rankings with a win in Fridays fifth and final one-dayer at the WACA Ground.

Arthur said his team, who lead the ODI series 3-1 is still in development mode, and would be better served by snaring the mantle later down the track.

For me the number one ranking at the moment is too soon for this team in a developing phase. It would create a heap of expectation on a young one-day side. It would certainly have come just a little too soon for our side developing as a one-day unit, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Arthur, as saying.

If we can get that down the line Id be very happy. Then (if we can) insulate that by winning the World Cup Id be even happier, he said.

Arthur said the Proteas, who defeated Australia 2-1 in the Test series, had already begun preparations for next months return bout in South Africa.

With success comes huge expectation. I think its probably the first time at home we are going to start as favourites against a side of the ilk of Australia, so its going to be interesting to see how we handle that tag and how we handle that in front of our fans … because it does bring added pressure, he said.

When asked whether he was wary of a wounded Australian side gunning for revenge, Arthur replied: Yeah I am. Id be lying if I said I wasnt. I think Australia are really going to be up for the series.

Its one way for them to come over and reverse fortunes and, not save face, but certainly inflict revenge on us. The pressure is going to be on us. We are going to be up for that and it’’s something we are aware of, he added. (ANI)

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