• We just didn’t step up, says AB

    Too many players failed to perform and they let themselves and the coaches down in a ‘disappointing’ Tri-Nations series, says captain AB de Villiers.

    Reeling from the 100-run loss to West Indies in Barbados on Saturday morning, De Villiers admitted that his squad had not been ‘close to their best’ throughout, despite winning two games.

    He took full responsibility for his own form, admitting that on four out of five occasions, he had given his wicket away. ‘There is no excuse. Tonight I got out to a bowler bowling really well, swinging the ball, but that wasn’t the case in the other four innings. I was in, I was seeing the ball well, but I didn’t convert the start into a big score. It was just not good enough,’ he said.

    ‘We have a lot of world-class players but not enough of us put out hands up in this series. Maybe a couple of us are out of form, including myself. I had a a poor series, would have liked to have a few played a bigger role and had more runs, but it didn’t happen.’

    He was quick to defend coach Russell Domingo who, he said, could not have done more to prepare the squad. ‘We had some really intense sessions in all departments. He put us through our paces like never before, but the batters kept collapsing. We just didn’t build partnerships, and that comes down to individuals; too many individuals just didn’t step up.

    ‘It is sad to see him under so much pressure, because it should not have been like this. There were a couple of games, like the first one, which we should have walked, but we let it slip. This coaching staff is the best in the world and as players, we let them down.’

    The West Indians had been on the rack at 24-4, after five overs, with Kagiso Rabada taking three. De Villiers said that, on reflection, he could have bowled him more, but he had expected more from his other bowlers.

    ‘There was plenty in the wicket for variation, we just needed to do the basics well. The game was on the line and we just needed another wicket to finish them off, but for 20-odd overs we couldn’t do it.’

    On the back of Darren Bravo’s century, sharing a 152-run stand with Kieron Pollard (62), the West Indies powered on to 285. The South African came nowhere close after losing their first four wickets for 35.

    De Villiers said he would not be returning with the team to South Africa as he now takes starts his stint in the Caribbean Premier League T20 series.

    Photo: AFP

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