Execution, not intent or planning, are the reasons behind the Proteas’ World Cup failures in England, writes DANIEL GALLAN in London.
Kagiso Rabada and David Miller both pointed to poor execution as a reason behind the Proteas’ shortcomings.
Following their sides’ 49-run defeat by Pakistan at Lord’s yesterday, which categorically eliminated South Africa from the tournament with two games to spare, both players used the ‘e-word’.
‘I don’t feel my confidence is low,’ Miller said. ‘For me personally, it’s been a lack of execution. We haven’t won, so you start looking at a lot of different things where we could have done better. But the margins are so small. We are doing the right things, we are just not executing it and we’re not winning games due to that.’
The 24-year-old fast bowler was billed as the best at his craft ahead of the tournament but has failed to live up to the hype. A back injury sustained while on duty in the IPL has led to rumours that he has not been functioning at 100% fitness but, like Miller, he emphasised one reason behind his disappointing performances.
‘Execution has been a question mark,’ Rabada told the gathered media at the Home of Cricket. ‘We were prepared, we did our analysis, we came into the game with a good mindset. But we were just OK. Obviously I would have liked to have been better but Pakistan turned up and we didn’t.’
Rabada said that Sarfraz Ahmed’s team performed better with the ball. In one of the more telling moments of the game, Wahab Riaz bowled Rabada with a searing, reverse-swinging yorker. In the IPL, Rabada cemented his status as one of the most-exciting prospects in world cricket after yorking Andre Russell to win a game for his franchise in a super over.
‘I got a lot more results in the IPL,’ Rabada conceded.
‘A lot of times we have been unlucky [at the World Cup] but there have been times where we let ourselves down.’
Rabada acknowledged that the injury he sustained at the IPL was an untimely one, but would not comment further on whether or not he should have returned to South Africa earlier than he did.