Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen has suggested that the heavy margin of defeat against England was not a true reflection of the competitive nature of the game.
The Proteas were outplayed in their World Cup on opener on Thursday, losing by 104 runs as they failed to chase down the 312-run target set by England.
Van der Dussen himself had an impressive first World Cup outing and scored 50 off 61 balls to keep South Africa in the hunt. Unfortunately, his wicket was one of seven wickets that fell for 65 runs en route to their disappointing defeat.
The 30-year-old’s sentiments after the game were that the difference between the two sides was larger than the margin reflected.
‘It looks a lot worse than it is,’ he said. ‘When myself and Quinny [Quinton de Kock] were in there, if we could have stayed there together for five or 10 more overs, it would have really put pressure on them. We could have come really close. We just lost too many wickets along the way.’
From here on out, Van der Dussen has backed the Proteas to continuously improve.
‘It’s the first game, it’s a stepping stone for us. At the end of the day, you want to peak at the right time and that’s at the back end,’ Van der Dussen said.
‘We were probably at 70 percent so that’s not where we want to be. But it’s the start of a long competition where you want to have an upwards curve in terms of your performance.’
Despite the loss, he revealed that the team are still in a good space and ready for the games to come.
‘Everybody’s games are in a good space at the moment. We worked really hard over the last few weeks and everybody knows where they are,’ he added.
‘It will be a situation of just topping up on some of the batting and bowling skills, no drastic changes. We know if we are at our best or close to it, we can beat any side.’
The Proteas take on Bangladesh on Sunday at the Oval.
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