AB de Villiers says two run-outs at crucial times cost South Africa dearly in their ill-fated run-chase against India at the MCG on Sunday.
The Proteas suffered their worst ever World Cup defeat, going down by 130 runs after they were asked to chase 308 for victory against a impressive Indian team.
‘All round we were very average,’ said de Villiers.
‘We lacked discipline in the field with dropped catches and untidy bowling and two run-outs in our innings was unacceptable. The run-outs cost us the game. I thought the bowlers fought back nicely after we were looking at 350, but the run-outs cost us.’
The skipper himself was run-out through a smart throw from the deep by Mohit Sharma and David Miller followed in similar fashion soon afterwards.
Faf du Plessis was the Proteas’ top-scorer with 55, the skipper’s 30 the only other notable contribution.
‘You always feel the pressure of chasing 300, like playing shots you may not want to. But the top six are there to win games. Two run-outs in the top five is not what we want.
‘It was a disappointing performance with both bat and ball. No excuses, we should have come up better today.
‘I can be hard on my bowlers and say it was a 270 wicket, but looking at the way the Indian batsmen batted, it was a good effort to restrict them. We will go away and work hard. The wicket didn’t change a lot.
‘I still maintain it was a good toss to win. At the end of the day, there was no excuses – we should have played better. I needed Parnell’s overs as we lost Philander. We just didn’t bat well as a top 6.’
MS Dhoni, the Indian skipper, praised his team’s impressive performance.
‘It was more than just a result, it was back to back good performances by the batsmen and bowlers.’ said Dhoni.
‘I think South Africa are a fantastic side and it was a great performance. I can only speculate how important the toss was. We were able to swing the ball under the lights and bowls the right areas. The spinners varied their pace well.
‘The run outs were impressive. It was good to see Mohit and Umesh field well. The run outs were the turning point, particularly as they were set batsmen. The fast bowlers aren’t giving away too many loose deliveries. It’s very pleasing to see. The amount of effort the fast bowlers are putting in the nets is starting to show.’
The Proteas face the West Indies on Friday.