South Africa coach Russell Domingo is doing his best to muffle the hype before his team’s heavyweight World Cup Pool B match against India in Melbourne.
The reigning champions’ fanatical support means a 90,000 sell-out is expected at the MCG tomorrow between two unbeaten teams.
Both have so far got the better of respective neighbours, Zimbabwe and Pakistan, in their opening fixtures – in India’s case a first international victory since they arrived in Australia three months ago.
The stakes will inevitably be heightened for South Africa in particular after a patchy but ultimately very comfortable success, as expected, in Hamilton last weekend.
But Domingo insists he and his players will prepare to face India just as they would any international fixture, without the burden of any extra pressure.
“I’ve always said over the last year that every game you play for South Africa is a big game – that’s how we want to approach it,” he said.
“We know there is always a lot of hype when India are in town. They have massive support and some really big players in their side.
“We are not seeing it as a high-profile game – every game we play is. We are treating it very much in the same way that we would treat every other game.”
South Africa have yet to lose to India in the World Cup but Domingo is not about to start crowing until the job is done.
“I haven’t thought too much on whether we have a psychological advantage over India,” he said. “They are the current world champions and are a wonderful one-day side.
“Whatever has happened in the past in previous World Cups will count for very little when we play here on Sunday.”
India have their own method of making sure they do not fuel the frenzy either before they play, and it usually entails a code of silence.
As is their wont, they have not made a public utterance since Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s post-match press conference after beating Pakistan in Adelaide five days ago.