Proteas will ‘learn from good and bad’ after Netherlands loss as they prepare for England

The Proteas will have a short turnaround to prepare for England. Photo: Money Sharma/AFP

The Proteas will have a short turnaround to prepare for England. Photo: Money Sharma/AFP

Published Oct 19, 2023


Proteas coach Rob Walter has admitted “mental errors” played a role in his team’s embarrassing 34-run defeat to the Netherlands at the ICC World Cup.

Walter was left helpless on the sidelines as he watched his team initially lose their way with the ball and in the field during the final 10 overs of the Dutch innings, which saw them score 245/8 off 43 overs, before the much-vaunted Proteas batting unit came unstuck in Dharamshala to be bowled out for 207 on Tuesday.

“Getting out in batting comes down to either mental error, a technical error or the bowler’s skill. So, you’ll always be placing it in one of those,” Walter said.

“I don’t think that they’ll all sit in one category.

“I think there was some good bowling skill and then potentially some mental errors along the way.

Ultimately, if you’re not sharp in that moment of time, you can get on the wrong side of it.

“The fact that they happened all together obviously put us on the back foot.”

The Proteas certainly did not exhibit the same intensity levels against the Dutch that they displayed in their previous victories over Sri Lanka and Australia but Walter was quick to rule out any notion of complacency on the side of his team.

Instead, he felt the poor display was more a result of tactical planning going awry, leading to poor execution.

“I think strategically, we might have just got a few things wrong.

“Maybe I’ve got our ratios a little bit wrong in terms of the slow balls versus hard-length and on-pace deliveries,” Walter said. “From an extras point of view, there’s definitely more extras than we would want to bowl.

“And at 140/7, you’re in control of the game really.

“So, to not be able to close it out at the death is disappointing.

“But if you’re not switched on and you don’t win the key moments in the game, you find yourself on the wrong side of the result.

“We learned that.”

The Proteas have a quick turnaround before their next clash with defending champions England on Saturday (10.30am start) in Mumbai.

The English are also still reeling from their own shock loss to Afghanistan in their last game and will no doubt be desperate to get their World Cup campaign back on track after going down to New Zealand in the tournament’s opening game.

Walter will therefore have to reassess and quickly heed the lessons if they are not to waste a promising start to this World Cup.

“We’ll sit and do a proper dissection of the game but for me, it’s really, what do you take from this game that makes you better next game?

“That’s ultimately the question we ask ourselves after every game,” he said.

“Win or lose, what are the lessons that we take and how do we use those to be better next time round?

“To be honest, we could probably chat for quite long.

“In this instance, there’s a lot to learn, both good and bad.

“We obviously need to brush up on our death (bowling). I don’t need to point out the obvious ... the numbers tell us that.

“The learnings are there and it’s just about us being open enough to be able to take them on board and move forward with it.”