The top 10 quotes from South Africa’s World Cup campaign.
1. ‘Their unpredictability is not a challenge because they are predictably unpredictable. Their strength lies in the predictability of their unpredictability.’ – coach Russell Domingo’s tongue-twister ahead of the group stage fixture against Pakistan.
2. ‘It’s like watching the Matrix movie. There’s Neo right there. He doesn’t understand how good he is.’ – Dale Steyn flatters his captain AB de Villiers.
3. ‘You would like to score runs every game but I don’t think that’s possible, unless you are Don Bradman or AB.’ – a characteristically modest Hashim Amla, after a fine century against Ireland.
4. ‘I just want to sit in my room and feel sad for a while.’ – De Villiers, again, after the defeat to India.
5. ‘The only reason that I can think of for the abundance of coaching staff is a lack of confidence in the individual skills. I think the coaching staff is quite top-heavy at the moment.’ – former all-rounder Brian McMillan, to ESPNCricinfo, perplexed by the Proteas’ substantial amount of support staff.
6. ‘It’s quite a hard space to be in sometimes, especially if the team is on a roll and there aren’t many changes and you’re just sort of waiting. But it’s also quite exciting because you can get a gap and then it goes well for you and you look like a hero.’ – fast bowler Kyle Abbott never could quite crack first-choice selection.
7. ‘We are human. We make mistakes but that’s not an excuse. We get chosen to represent our country and to play on this big stage. We are not getting it right as a team.’ – telling honesty from all-rounder JP Duminy after the loss to India.
8. ‘I can’t help but think they wish they had Ryan McLaren there to cover that base and then they can make that decision somewhere else.’ – former skipper Graeme Smith, to Radio 702, recognises South Africa’s lack of a genuine, in-form seaming all-rounder.
9. ‘It’s overwhelming. It’s bewilderment. It’s just jaw-dropping stuff. I don’t know, I’m at a loss for words. We’re all in awe when we see him bat like that.’ – batsman Farhaan Behardien, largely overwhelmed by De Villiers’ batting prowess.
10. ‘They had a plan, they knew they could see off a maiden or two from Tahir. He had been South Africa’s most successful bowler at the tournament. They also knew who they would target and who would travel for runs – the fifth and sixth bowler.’ – former all-rounder, coach and national selector Mike Procter, to SA Cricket magazine, saw New Zealand’s semi-final batting onslaught against De Villiers and Duminy coming.