Proteas aim to shock India

  • Last Updated: April 3 2014, 18:58 BST

History will not be on India's mind when they face South Africa in a bid to reach the World Twenty20 final on Friday.

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India are not only favourites to see off the Proteas, but also win the tournament and become the first team ever to hold all three major global limited overs titles.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side are the reigning World Cup winners, while they won a tight Champions Trophy final against England in Birmingham last June.

The notion of completing an unprecedented treble is, however, the furthest thing from their minds as they prepare for their last-four clash with South Africa in Dhaka.

"We've never been a team that's believed in talking about all these things, because it's only going to make things tougher for you," off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin told a press conference.

"I'm not a firm believer in it, but four teams in the semi-final, everybody has a 25 per cent chance. That's the numbers game.

"Most of these guys (his team-mates) were involved in the Champions Trophy, so that's one experience everybody can draw from.

"Apart from that, the one thing that the young side will have an advantage over the other teams is that we don't have any baggage. We've not lost many big competitions, there will be no scars with us. We have nothing to lose."

By contrast South Africa have a miserable record in major tournaments, earning themselves an unwanted 'chokers' tag for their failure at the deep end of competitions.

The Proteas have never won a major senior tournament, but captain Faf du Plessis and his players plan to ignore that piece of history too.

"It's irrelevant for us as a group of players to be looking at past performances," he said.

"These Twenty20 tournaments are what you do on the day and nothing before. It's really important as a team we go in with that fresh mindset.

"We're playing India on the day and we've had huge success against them.

"We're playing some good cricket. We've been through some tough situations in this World Cup where we probably shouldn't have won but our resilience, and never saying die, has stood us in good stead.

"India is still regarded as one of the favourites and we've played pretty much the whole tournament as underdogs. No-one really gave us a chance."

South Africa played their group games in Chittagong and have travelled to the capital, where India have gone unbeaten through the group stage.

Ashwin believes his side's knowledge of conditions at the Shere Bangla Stadium should offer India an advantage.

"We know what to expect from this ground and the pitch, but of course, when it comes down to the semifinal, it's anybody's game," he said.

"Whoever plays well on that particular day will have the advantage. But yes, we do hold an edge, having played so many games here. We know what to expect."