There are times when you have to take it on the chin and accept you have been outplayed in every department, said Kepler Wessels on Supersport.
Reviewing South Africa’s 130-run run loss to a dominant India side, Wessels paid dribute to an all-round performance by India, but highlighted areas of deficiencies in South Africa’s display, which was marked by two important run outs – AB de Villiers and David Miller – at crucial points.
‘This cannot happen again in this tournament,’ he said. ‘When AB and Faf [du Plessis] have batted together, there have been seven run-outs, and that is a lot. They are both very quick between the wickets and they think that most times they will get in. But no run is worth a run-out. They have to be more circumspect. You need only remember that quarter-final against New Zealand [in the 2011 World Cup], and that changed the course of the game.’
But if the running was too aggressive, the bowling was not aggressive enough.
‘I think they only bowled two bouncers in the early stages. They should have tried to get India on the back foot straight away. Having said that, they bowled well and if they had taken their chances, it could have been different.
‘But South Africa have to take those half-chances because in the knock-out stages, a game like that can turn on very small incidents. One thing about the fielding was the example set by AB. He was absolutely brilliant, two run-outs with direct hits, and at important stages. That’s a captain: leading from the front and showing the way.
‘They bowled with much more intent at the end of the innings, much more than at the start. That was the problem. If they can get both right, bowl with intent with the new ball and at the end, it will be a lot better.’
India, who had never beaten South Africa in the World Cup, were more intelligent in their approach,’ said Wessels. ‘India had a sensible innings: they sensed the conditions early, batted well when South Africa were bowling well and then gradually accelerated and they had wickets in hand to get to a big total.
Looking ahead to the next game, against the West Indies on Sept 27, the Proteas No 7 position remains problematical, especially if Vernon Philander is out injured and is replaced by Kyle Abbott.
‘Wayne Parnell does not justify his position, he is just too expensive. So you could ask JP Duminy to bowl his full 10 – he can’t be more expensive – and open the way for another batsman. But if the specialised bowlers don’t get early wickets, the fifth bowler could be in trouble. The selectors may also look at Quinton de Kock’s form… Rilee Rossouw is knocking at the door.’