’We really missed Temba Bavuma and our IPL stars,’ says Rassie van der Dussen
PRETORIA – While South Africa had long accepted that they would be without six of their top players for the T20 series with Pakistan because of the Indian Premier League, the additional loss of captain Temba Bavuma, was an extra hurdle that ultimately proved too big to overcome.
The Proteas lost the four match series to Babar Azam’s Pakistan side 3-1, the defeat in the fourth match on Friday, saw the hosts push the tourists to the last over despite setting an inadequate target of just 145.
“It’s been challenging, but if you take seven of a team’s best players out of any side in the world, they will probably be up against it,” Rassie van der Dussen, who top scored with 52 for the Proteas, said on Friday.
Van der Dussen wasn’t available for the first two matches as well, leaving another hole in the batting line-up. With four players making their debut in the series, inconsistency was to be expected. “The guys that came in were brilliant in stages. As a team, we didn’t show the consistency that we needed. We played one game - the second game at the Wanderers - where we put in a complete performance.”
“We were patchy in the other games, which was disappointing, but we know, when we click as a team, even with seven new guys, we could beat a world class side like Pakistan,” said Van der Dussen.
Pakistan certainly had a more settled team, even if their middle order will be a huge concern for Babar and head coach Misbah ul-Haq. Babar was a class apart throughout the tour, while Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman also dominated the Proteas bowlers. However, as Friday’s match and the second game of the series showed, when South Africa got through that trio, Pakistan’s middle order was flaky.
“We'll sit down and talk about it, and give the players confidence so they can make up for the mistakes they've made,” Babar said.
It’s not so much a case of back to the drawing board for South Africa. Valuable lessons were learned by individual players, while for the under pressure coaching staff, headed by Mark Boucher, will be looking forward to having, Bavuma and the likes of Rabada, Miller, Du Plessis, De Kock, Nortje and possibly De Villiers back for South Africa’s tour to the West Indies, where they’ll play five T20 Internationals.
“The positives for the coaching staff were to see the depth in the squad, to give some guys a go and see where they are skills wise. I think guys improved a lot over four games, it’s only a good thing,” said Van der Dussen.
“We’ll get a more balanced view of where we are when we get to the West Indies. Hopefully we’ll have a full squad available and we can start building momentum from there.”