JP Duminy expects a difficult battle in Wellington when they face New Zealand in the third ODI on Saturday.
The Proteas’ No 5 batsman said the team were humbled by the loss and that it forced them to prepare differently for the upcoming matches.
‘It was kind of inevitable to lose a game, and it doesn’t put us in a different situation in terms of our preparation,’ he told the media on Wednesday.
‘It’s no secret that we’re trying to work towards the Champions Trophy, which is a few months away, so it’s probably a good thing to go through those losses along the way just to bring us down to earth.’
SA struggled to get good starts on Wednesday, which saw none of the top six stick around till the end of the innings, as the Proteas fell short of the 290-run target and suffered a six-run defeat. The loss ended their 12-match winning streak. Duminy made it known that the side is well aware of the reasons.
‘There are certain things we still have to improve on, especially in our batting unit where nobody in the top six took responsibility,’ said Duminy.
‘A lot of us got in but didn’t take it home for the team … and the disappointment lies within ourselves.’
The Proteas travelled to New Zealand after completing series whitewashes against Australia and Sri Lanka, which ranked them as the No 1 ODI team in the world. Duminy confirmed that they know this ODI series was never going to be as easy as their previous encounters.
‘The Black Caps will always be a team to put us under pressure, regardless of the situation,’ added Duminy.
‘New Zealand were always going to be a tough opposition, especially in the shorter formats and when you’re playing in their own backyard it’s never going to be easy.
‘We’ve had great success here, but it was never going to be a walkover and they will compete until the last ball.
‘That’s something we need to acknowledge and understand that we always need to bring our best game and that’s definitely our mindset going into Saturday.’
The third ODI takes place on Saturday at 03:00 SAST, with both sides looking to take a 2-1 lead in the series.