South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn says that his side's time spent in the Netherlands ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy will give his side an 'extra edge'.
They take on the Netherlands in a One-Day International on Friday (31st May) ahead of which they are training at a pre-tour camp in Amsterdam.
Steyn joined the camp after helping the unfancied Sunrisers Hyderabad finish the Indian Premier League 2013 in fourth place but other players have not played as much cricket as he has in South Africa's off-season.
"The players who haven’t had match time because of the winter off-season have a few days to catch up with their skills and their strength," Steyn said.
"For the players that have been at the IPL (Indian Premier League), it will be about finding the best way to maintain your rhythm and fitness. We are all professionals and everybody in the side knows what to do before our first game in the UK."
Steyn is not alone in returning to the South African fold from the IPL. AB de Villiers, David Miller and Morne Morkel were all heavily involved but the challenge for them is to adjust their game from 20 to 50-overs.
"The whole format changes, even your mental approach changes. How aggressive you are, the fields that your set as a bowler, it’s sometimes easy to fall into defensive mode because of the format that allows you extra time.
"As a batter you don’t have to be too aggressive upfront because you have a lot of time, so the players have to find their game as quickly as possible before the competition."
Monday saw the squad spending time with explorer Mike Horn and were put through their paces with a variety of challenges including a bicycle ride around Amsterdam, canoing and climbing the tallest building in the city.
"The challenges that Mike puts us through helps us to cope better with some of the small things you might face when you are on a cricket field, that is what might give us the edge in the long run," Steyn said.
"He has been great, he put us through physical activities which tested our bodies and made us work as a team so that you rely on your team mate to get you over the line. These activities were great for us last year before we went to England and Australia, and hopefully they will help us again."
South Africa also play a warm-up match against Pakistan on Monday (3rd June) before beginning their Champions Trophy campaign against India on 6th June.
They also take on Pakistan and the West Indies in their group.
© Cricket World 2013
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