BIRMINGHAM – Faf du Plessis believes Proteas fans every right to be angry with the team’s disappointing performance here at the World Cup.
The Proteas lost to New Zealand by four wickets in a thrilling contest on Wednesday, and have now only beaten minnows Afghanistan to leave their tournament hopes in tatters.
Only if a series of miraculous results go the way of the Proteas do they have any chance of still progressing to the semi-finals. Du Plessis did not shy away of criticism directed at his team, and believes it is fully justified.
”I know South African people are very passionate, and they're obviously probably a little bit angry at the moment, and rightly so. As a team, we take that on the chin. We're not pointing fingers anywhere else, but as I said, as a team, we're just not as good as other teams at the moment, and that's our mistake. So we take it on the chin,” a crestfallen Du Plessis said.
South Africa’s Achilles heel at this World Cup has been the lack of runs, particularly those coming from the senior players. In fact, no South African batsman has managed a century thus far in the six matches the Proteas have played.
Du Plessis acknowledged this fact, and cited New Zealand’s centurion and match-winner, Kane Williamson, as the case the point in how to win high-pressure games.
”We need guys to stand up and put in performances that will win you games. That has been where we've been short in the innings we've played so far. The one with Quinny (De Kock) getting 60 or 70 the previous game is signs of that, but we still want more. We want guys to put in match performance runs, as he showed,” Du Plessis said.
”Kane played a great knock, you know. It's probably the difference between the two sides, just one guy taking it through. That's why I use him as a reference, you need someone to go further, and we haven't had that. That's purely the finger pointing back at us as a batting unit.”
South Africa have three games left before the cross-examination will begin back home. A clear-out will certainly be called for – both players and management – but Du Plessis believes it will be a natural process due to all the retirements.
JP Duminy and Imran Tahir have already made their decisions public, while it is expected that Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn and possibly Du Plessis too could call time on their ODI careers after the final match against Australia in Manchester next month.
“I think that (clearout) will happen naturally with quite a few guys at the end of their careers. So you're probably getting three or four guys getting away from that,” Du Plessis explained.
“Depending on Cricket South Africa, I feel in terms of what they believe is a good way forward, they might want a complete change. But those are things you sit down and talk about. For me, we've got some young players, so there's a future there.
The young guys, I've really backed them this tournament. I think they've got a great future ahead of them.”@ZaahierAdams
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