London: South African batting coach Neil Mckenzie believes that Sri Lanka chasing down India’s huge total of 321 on Thursday will be playing on their minds when Virat Kohli and his troops take to the field against South Africa in their final group B clash on Sunday.
India smashed their way to 321/6 and their continental rivals but half-centuries from Danuska Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews helped Sri Lanka record a comfortable seven-wicket victory at the Oval.
"India have got two scores of 300 plus in the tournament. One they have won, the other they lost. The 320 (322) that Sri Lanka chased down will be playing on their minds. But you can only play with what’s ahead of you and play according to conditions," Mckenzie told reporters at the Lord's on Friday.
However, the Proteas are also coming into the encounter at the back of a defeat and when asked about what went wrong against Pakistan, the former South African opener said: "We pride ourselves on the top six getting hundreds. Against Pakistan there were a few soft dismissals. You don’t see Quinton De Kock and Hashim Amla getting out in that kind of manner."
"I thought there was some terrific bowling. They came in hard at us, put us under pressure, squeezed us with the spinners and then the ball tailed a little bit and we did not have any answers for such a Pakistan effort," Mckenzie added.
India haven’t yet fielded their most experience spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the tournament, but with three left-handers in the South African batting line-up, skipper Kohli could be tempted to play the off-spinner.
"In both squads you have serious players and serious options. It all comes down to strategy. Ashwin against the left-handers would be the preferred choice, but I think we have quality on both ends and it’s just who performs on the day," Mckenzie said.
The match is also a virtual quarter-final as the winner of the clash will go through to the semis. Both India and South Africa are heavyweight teams and Mckenzie believes it will be one of the most exciting ties of the tournament.
"India are the defending champions, South Africa are No.1 side. Yes! two fantastic sides, magnificent venue to play in and it is a quarter-final. Both sides are under pressure and it’s just about who can hold it. A lot of Indian players and South Africans have played together in the IPL, they know each other so it is going to be a great clash," the Proteas batting coach said.