South Africa have the right plans in place to bat second, but chasing totals requires a mental shift with which they haven’t coped well, says JP Duminy.
The Proteas have lost both their group matches when asked to chase, with the loss against Pakistan delivering a hammer blow to the team’s confidence going forward.
Doubts about their ability to chase down a target are bound to creep in should they find themselves batting second again.
‘We’ve had meetings regarding chasing,’ said Duminy. ‘We have hit the nail on the head regarding where we went wrong.
‘We have plans and strategies in place for when we chase, and I don’t think we need to deter too much from those plans. We have identified that partnerships and wickets in hand is crucial.’
Duminy said if South Africa were going to be successful at chasing a total, they need to find a way to stick to those strategies and plans.
‘Batting second requires a mental shift compared to batting first,’ he said.
‘When you bat second, there is scoreboard pressure and the pressure of this being a World Cup. We need to accept the fact that we haven’t been good enough. The pressure just got to us and we had a few soft dismissals.
‘It all comes down to the quarter-final and what we show there. How do we get it right? What do we do differently? By following certain game-plans. At times, in pressure moments, you forget about the team’s game-plan because you get caught up in the moment and it gets too big for you.’
Duminy said nobody, bar AB de Villiers, took responsibility from a batting perspective against Pakistan.
‘We needed to take the team through, but couldn’t. I’m one of the culprits in that. I felt that I was in, but I threw my wicket away. That will happen from time to time in your career, but it can’t happen in big games like that. We are fortunate that it happened in the group stage, because now we must ensure that it doesn’t happen again in the play-offs.
‘The easiest thing to do now, is to crawl into a hole. We need to stick together as a team. These types of defeats can break you mentally. The quarter-final hasn’t happened yet; we haven’t come short yet. There is still an opportunity for us to get it right. It’s about how we respond.’
Duminy admitted that the fifth bowler duties, which was shared between him and De Villiers, didn’t work against Pakistan.
‘I bowl most of those offers, and I take full responsibility for the fifth bowler issues. I didn’t bowl badly, my strategies against the batsmen weren’t good enough and they batted well. I need to be better.’
With pressure mounting on opener Quinton de Kock, Duminy reiterated the team’s support for the out-of-form batsman.
‘We are here to carry him. It’s just about backing him and supporting him. He is still young. This won’t be the first or the last time that he will go through a slump. It happens to everybody.’