LONDON – Where do we go from here?
That would have been the big question floating around on the team bus as the Proteas headed out of London to Southampton on Monday.
They will hope the port town is a lot kinder to them than the bustling capital, which they left with a bloodied nose after two defeats to hosts England and Bangladesh.
JP Duminy believes some soul-searching needs to be done, and quickly too, for Virat Kohli’s Indian superstars are already waiting in Hampshire.
“It is about the self-reflection first, and looking yourself in the mirror and admitting where you got it wrong. It’s going to be important for us not to point fingers or blame anyone,” Duminy told the media.
“We’re up against it, so we’re going to need every individual to be a leader in their own game and understand where they need to improve.
“We can’t mope and hang our lips on the ground... we need to understand how we are going to get better. Honesty has always been one of our pillars,” he said.
Much has been made about South Africa’s preparation – or lack thereof in fact – for this World Cup as potential reasons for the two lacklustre displays, and particularly Sunday’s shock defeat to Bangladesh.
Key members of the Proteas World Cup squad were still involved at the Indian Premier League until a very last stage, unlike other World Cup teams that called back their IPL participants early to prepare for the United Kingdom.
Equally, South Africa did not play any official ODI series since last March, with only a couple of warm-ups games – one of which was abandoned due to rain – before the opening game against England.
Coupled with their theme of “wanting to have fun” at this World Cup, questions have been raised about the team’s commitment here in the United Kingdom.
Duminy was quick to dispel any theories, and stressed that the Proteas care deeply about representing the 56 million people back home.
“By no means is it that we don’t care,” said the veteran left-hander, who is retiring after this World Cup.
“There is a lot of pride in performance when we play for our country, but there is a calmness around the team space, and I think that’s a good thing. It’s about putting the performances together.
“When you’re playing in a tournament like this, there are always going to be external pressures, but it’s about embracing them.
“There is a relaxed, calm feeling about it.”@ZaahierAdams