Proteas stumped by another poor showing
Another tournament. Another disappointment.
South African cricket simply cannot carry on this way, staggering from one fiasco to the next.
On Friday, the team led by AB de Villiers suffered an utterly disappointing defeat at the hands of the West Indies in Barbados, losing by an enormous 100 runs and being bundled out of the Triangular series in the process.
The Windies and Australia will today go head to head in the final.
After fast bowler Kagiso Rabada (3/31) had the West Indies with their backs against the wall on 21/4, they were allowed to fight back and dash South Africa’s final hope.
The Windies were permitted to get a score of 285 and South Africa was bowled out for just 185.
“The players have to shoulder the blame for this defeat,” admitted De Villiers yesterday.
“Not enough of us put our hands up in this series … including myself,” he said.
The captain tried to shield his embattled coach, Russell Domingo, and the rest of the coaching staff from criticism by conceding the team had let them down.
“We have an amazing coaching team and they worked very hard, with intense practice sessions, but on the field it comes down to individuals not stepping up,” said De Villiers.
“We had the Windies in a corner in this match, but we couldn’t round it off. It is very disappointing,” he said.
The question is, how much longer can performances like these be tolerated? Getting your opponent’s top four batsmen out for less than 30 runs and then allowing them to turn around and give you a bloody nose by scoring another 250 runs is an indictment against the team, which says that it doesn’t have the character to turn big moments into victories.
Surely, enough must now be enough.
It’s all good and well for De Villiers to back Domingo and company but the reality is that he doesn’t make the grade as a coach. The same goes for his aides.
The fact that De Villiers is a brilliant player – not that he showed it during this series – doesn’t make him a good captain.
His lack of experience as a captain at any level of cricket prior to being appointed captain of South Africa is obvious enough for anyone to see.
The national team is now also paying the price for the amount of cricket its best players are playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and various other T20 series around the world.
Somebody like De Villiers looked cricket-weary in this series and the same is true of Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Hashim Amla and Chris Morris.
None of them was a shadow of the electrifying players one saw in the IPL.
In addition, some of them, De Villiers included, are also playing in the Caribbean T20 series next month.
Then they’ll scarcely be back in South Africa before playing a Test series against New Zealand in August.
Somewhere, someone will have to intervene in the interest of South African cricket, but it seems shoulders are merely being shrugged.
CHAT Proteas skipper AB de Villiers has a pep talk with Kagiso Rabada