As South Africans wait nervously for the Proteas to compete in the World Cup semi-final against old rivals Australia, spinner Tabraiz Shamsi says the past is not weighing on the team at all.

South Africa has consistently under-whelmed at World Cups with the Proteas never able to win a semi-final in the tournament. But, according to Shamsi, that history has nothing to do with the current crop of players.

Referring to previous World Cup campaigns Shamsi told IOL: “That doesn’t matter one bit, we’re a different group of players.

“Before we got to the World Cup, nobody said that we’d be in the semi-final and here we are. We’re just excited for the opportunity.

“That’s what propels this team – instead of feeling pressure, we see it as an opportunity to do something special.

“No South African men’s team has been in the World Cup final and that for us is very exciting because it is an opportunity to do something that no other team has done,” he said.

“Instead of it being restricting to the guys, I think it’s going to make the guys be even more free flowing than they have been because we’re aiming to do something that no men’s team from our country has been able to do.”

The Proteas were buoyed on Monday with the news that skipper Temba Bavuma had been able to train with no side-effects from the hamstring strain he suffered during the final pool game against Afghanistan.

The news that South Africa’s prolific skipper is fit to play will be a major boost for the team, who have quietly gone about their business at the World Cup.

“I have a lot of confidence in my teammates, the management and myself as well. That’s the reason why I’ve always been vocal about it,” added Shamsi.

“Maybe people from the outside haven’t been able to see or didn’t want to see the quality that we have within the group.

“We have just gone on quietly doing our work because we do believe that we can do it,” he said.