• Five takeaways: Proteas vs Bangladesh

    Five takeaways from the Proteas’ 21-run defeat to Bangladesh at the Oval, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.

    READ: Bangladesh outclass sub-par Proteas

    Bowlers must rework powerplay strategy 

    Two matches in and the Proteas’ bowlers have struggled to find consistency in the powerplay. Against England, they got their bowling plans horribly wrong, playing into the hands of a team who are comfortable at playing short-pitched deliveries which aid their attacking ethos. Against Bangladesh they opted for the opposite approach and bowled fuller, playing into the hands of the sub-continent side who prefer to drive and turn balls around corners. Both times, it was poor analysis and they were punished for it in the power play. This put them on the back foot instantly and having to play catch up. With Lungi Ngidi withdrawing after four overs to treat a tight hamstring, the Proteas are unexpectedly facing issues with what was supposed to be their best asset.

    Keep the focus!

    There is no doubt that panic will start to set in. The Proteas are two games in with two losses, and can only afford to lose one more game with teams like India, New Zealand, West Indies and Australia still looming. The Proteas have the talent to beat all of those teams, but a loss to India on Wednesday will see book-keepers start to write off the No 3-ranked team with five weeks still left in the tournament. The Proteas must keep focus, regroup and play to their strengths, rather than try to overthink their strategies.

    PLAYER RATINGS: Sunday shame

    Learn from the Tigers

    Bangladesh bowled beautifully throughout the game. Particularly in the latter stages of the innings. They kept up a consistent line instead of trying to bang the ball in. They bowled to their field instead of trying to force out errors and cut off all the Proteas’ scoring options. They played to their own strengths rather than trying to tailor their game plan according to the opposition.

    Selectors have taken unnecessary risks

    The Proteas’ bowling unit is currently in tatters. The combination that was rated with world-class status, is missing key individuals. Dale Steyn was allowed to play in the IPL, where he picked up an injury and is still in recovery, Ngidi has struggled to stay injury free and Kagiso Rabada is still struggling to find his rhythm after the back strain he picked up in the IPL. The congested opening fixtures of the World Cup haven’t helped the Proteas either. The Proteas’ best bowlers are at 80% fitness and once the opposition sees those players out, what’s to follow becomes easy picking.

    READ: Bowlers lose plot as Proteas wilt again

    Consistency over pace 

    Morris actually threw all the Proteas’ hard work out the window. The Proteas managed to throttle Bangladesh to 276-5 with four overs remaining. Morris then conceded 15 runs in the 47th over and 14 runs in the 49th over to finish with figures of 2-73. This was a huge factor in the Tigers posting a 330-8 total, their best ever ODI score. It might be a bit harsh to criticise Morris, but it’s consistency not pace that the Proteas need. Bangladesh proved that they can be effective without having a specialist speedster.

    READ: SA’s three other ODI losses to Bangladesh

    Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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