World T20 2014

South Africa less than the sum of their parts

South Africa, for once, cannot be accused of letting pressure get to them at a major tournament, but did they make the best use of their resources?

Firdose Moonda

April 5, 2014

Comments: 67 | Text size: A | A

Albie Morkel was bowled by Mitchell Starc, South Africa v Australia, 3rd T20, Centurion, March 14, 2014
Albie Morkel did not have a settled role in the South Africa line-up, and failed to make an impact with bat or ball © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: World T20
Teams: South Africa

When Albie Morkel was recalled to South Africa's T20 squad after an 18-month hiatus from international cricket, he did not know exactly what his role would be. After five matches at the World T20, he probably still doesn't.

Morkel batted at No. 6 to begin with, moved down to No. 7, up to No. 5 and back down to No. 6. He faced 26 balls in the tournament, hit three sixes and never spent more than 18 minutes at the crease. He went from being South Africa's fifth bowler to taking the new ball, took one wicket while going at an economy rate of 9.20, and did not once bowl his full quota of four overs.

That is not as confusing as it is wasteful, which is what South Africa were with most of their resources at the World T20. The blame lies somewhere between under-planning and over-planning, trusting the statistics more than the situation, and having the parts but not knowing how to put them all together.

Morkel was brought in cold off a domestic season in which he did not sparkle. He was not among the top 15 run-scorers or wicket-takers in the Ram Slam T20 tournament. He lay in 18th place in the batting charts, with one fifty and an average of 28.80, and took only two wickets in 10 matches. He was picked on reputation. He did not have any game time under the new T20 regime, with Faf du Plessis as captain and Russell Domingo as coach, and South Africa did not know what to do with him. He was not the only one.

They were also unconvincing in their use of David Miller and AB de Villiers, although they knew they wanted to hold de Villiers back for the second half of the innings because the numbers show he plays better when he comes in after 10 overs. That his two biggest scores of the tournament, 69 and 29, were scored in such circumstances lends some credence to the theory.

They wished Dale Steyn could bowl all 20 overs but because he could not, they chose to use him mostly at the end of innings. In so doing, there was not as much room to manoeuvre with the other bowlers as they might have liked. That is not to say South Africa were inflexible or predictable, a overused criticism they sometimes get, just that they were unsure and a little unsettled.

From their first match they had to make an adjustment because du Plessis had not recovered from a hamstring strain in time. They only had one option. The extra batsman was Farhaan Behardien, so he had to play, but it was obvious South Africa would rather not have had him.

Behardien was slotted to bat at No. 5 but he was pushed down to No. 7 as South Africa chased 166 against Sri Lanka. Effectively they left themselves a batsman short by using Behardien so low down, he made no impact, and they pushed David Miller and Morkel up with the same result.

At 110 for 3 in the 14th over, South Africa wanted boundaries, so there was some method to their madness. Miller was sent in at No. 5. He had the little bit of the time he often needs to settle in and looked in fairly good touch. However, there was no reason not to bat Behardien when the next wicket fell, but Morkel was sent in instead.

 
 
Collectively South Africa sent down 32 wides across the five matches - five overs and two balls more than they needed to bowl. In an event where margins are small, that could very well be one reason why they will not be part of the final
 

When Morkel was informed he was back in the fold, he said he thought between him, Duminy, de Villiers and Miller, they would be the finishers. The problem is that teams do not need four finishers, especially because in South Africa's case they only had one starter, Hashim Amla, and they saw it in that match. After two strong blows Morkel was gone, South Africa needed 33 in three and a half overs and pressure came down on Behardien like a brick wall. He contributed only 5 runs before falling to a big shot.

Behardien's ability as an international player is yet to be proved and South Africa did not make it any easier for him with the way they used him. He stood in for du Plessis again when the captain was suspended for slow over rate and, again, he was leapfrogged in the line-up. South Africa were 120 for 3 in the 15th over against England when they sent in Miller, who added 19, and 174 for 4 in the 19th when Morkel was pushed up. Behardien, due to bat No.7, never got the chance.

What that says is that South Africa did not have confidence in Behardien to bat in an important situation. They wanted Miller and Morkel to do it, but neither had enough time in the middle to find form. It raises the question of why they took Behardien along in the first place. The same can be asked about Aaron Phangiso. A second specialist spinner is a rarity in a South Africa XI and they only had one chance to include him, in the semi-final, but did not.

Instead JP Duminy was used in a second-spinner role, and he even opened the bowling on three occasions. South Africa held the record for the most expensive average first over in the tournament - 10.6 runs. Steyn only delivered the opening over once. Without a recognised death bowler, South Africa needed him to be their hangman and decided the noose should only be tied at the latter stages of an innings.

In all four matches in which they defended a total, Steyn did not open the bowling and South Africa needed to haul the opposition back after they got off to fast starts. The earliest South Africa took a wicket when bowling second was the fourth over, and they had two opening stands of 50 and one of 46 scored against them. Because they did not strike early, they were always playing catch-up. Three times, Imran Tahir, Beuran Hendricks and Steyn helped them to. In the semi, they did not.

That does not mean South Africa did not gain anything from this tournament. Hendricks' domestic form has become international promise. He has a mature temperament, a good slower-ball bouncer that he is not scared to use, and he is only 23. That South Africa took the bold step of including him at the expense of Morne Morkel, who performed badly in the second match, indicates progress. Not only did they gamble on an inexperienced but in-form player, they dropped a stalwart, which in the past South African administrators have been reluctant to do.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe was the next victim of the chop. His replacement, Wayne Parnell, is exciting but can be wayward. His control can be worked on, though, and to be fair to him, the whole South African attack needs to do the same. Collectively they sent down 32 wides across the five matches - five overs and two balls more than they needed to bowl. In an event where margins are small, that could very well be one reason why South Africa will not be part of the final.

There are others, of course: Virat Kohli's perfectly paced knock, R Ashwin's stellar spell, and the simple fact that India seem a few steps ahead of everyone else in this competition. South Africa lost to a better-organised and more self-assured side.

Unlike in 2011, South Africa will not leave Bangladesh wondering if they could have dealt with pressure better, but they will ask themselves if they could have used what they had differently. And they will have another chance to do that at next year's World Cup, when this story will begin all over again.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by   on (April 9, 2014, 8:03 GMT)

No wonder Steyn bowled only one opening over- it went for 17. Good against NZ, his 7 overs v England and India went for 77. Like his buddy Morne Morkel he is a very overrated T 20 bowler .

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (April 7, 2014, 11:21 GMT) Well Faff has blown the Test captaincy job - that is for sure Posted by Ahmed Irfan on (April 7, 2014, 15:04 GMT) South Africa needs the experience of Botha again Posted by KK053 on (April 7, 2014, 7:42 GMT) I think its time for a major overhaul of our T20 approach and the team should start looking for more adequately specialised players. Time to open the doors for guys like Abbott, Theron, Harmer or von Berg. Need batsmen to go hard from the start rather than just look to build a foundation.

Posted by twistedseatbelt on (April 8, 2014, 9:47 GMT)

@greatest_game Please recall a single knockout game in a major tournament where Amla or AB has made a decent score. in fact dont bother. You wont find any. When the chips are down in a knockout game Amla and AB are already back in the hut. At least AB can claim to have been the backbone of many a remarkable facesaving draw in the 4th innings of a test, do you want to know where Amla was on those famous 5th days? yup, with his feet up in the pavillion, having already gotten out on the 4th.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (April 8, 2014, 4:06 GMT)

@ KK053wrote " I dont think Amla should play this format, despite his runs in this tournament, he just does look natural try to swing his bat and he is not a 6 hitter at the top."

Amla was the best T20 batsman in SA's domestic T20 league, but more significantly he scored the 7TH MOST runs in this World T20 - despite playing 1 or 2 less innings than any other player who scored more the he did, except Duminy, who scored only 2 more runs than Amla did.

Amla scored his runs at a higher strike rate - 131.2 - than Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma, & a host of other big name T20 players.

He may not LOOK natural to you, but the results look damned good to me. The hard, cold stats show that he was one of the elite, & most successful, batsmen of this World T20. More runs, higher strike rate - what is there NOT to like about the mighty Hash?

Opinions - everyone has them. Analysis based on empirical evidence - that takes some work, but the truth is revealed, and opinions rendered pointless!

Posted by   on (April 7, 2014, 15:04 GMT)

South Africa needs the experience of Botha again both as a player and captain his win % in T20I is 72.37% compared to faf and AB's 56 he could have been an obvious choice in place of any three(Morkel A,Phangiso, Behardien). Botha is well known for his ability to dry up runs his economy in 2K11 world cup is just 4 he should have been a obvious choice for this T20I. He can score some runs too which comes in handy, I would Like to see him back in the SA squad again. Please CSA get him back and reduce the burden out of AB and FaF

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (April 7, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

Well Faff has blown the Test captaincy job - that is for sure. During the tournament he had some diabolically bowling choices - making morne morkel bowl a 3rd over (after conceding 40 runs), getting Duminy and Albie Morkel to open the bowling against India in semis was unforgivable. The fact that AB still doesnt hold that no.3 batting spot is criminal too. Faff let his ego get in the way and promoted himself instead. There is a difference in leading by example and using your best resources wisely.

Domingo doesnt cut it either. From team selection to playing policies during this tournament, its been a complete shambles. Only through pure personal brilliance of Steyn, Tahir and Duminy did we make the semis - not through clear strategy and execution.

Posted by KK053 on (April 7, 2014, 7:42 GMT)

I think its time for a major overhaul of our T20 approach and the team should start looking for more adequately specialised players. I dont think Amla should play this format, despite his runs in this tournament, he just does look natural try to swing his bat and he is not a 6 hitter at the top. QdK needs to go back to domestic cricket for more experience with bat and gloves. Miller should be batting at 4, or evening opening? Bring in guys like Levi, Rossouw, Davids and on the bowling side its game over for Morkel (both), Tsotsobe and Phangiso. Time to open the doors for guys like Abbott, Theron, Harmer or von Berg. Need batsmen to go hard from the start rather than just look to build a foundation.

Posted by   on (April 7, 2014, 5:46 GMT)

Well, IMO SA are in desperate need of a better leader. Faf Du Plessis is not leader material, he may seem to be enjoying it but that's more like that immature joy you get from holding an important post. His decisions are questionable, very questionable. I think he gave the semi final match away when he won the toss and decided to bat first which implies India chases. It doesn't take an expert to tell how strong a batting unit India is in the sub-continent and how much we thrive chasing.

Posted by Marktc on (April 7, 2014, 5:38 GMT)

South Africa showed that they can deal with pressure situations and that they could come back from the jaws of death to win games. Having said that, they should not be close to losing those games in the first place. Despite De Kock not shining, I would keep him and Amla as T20 openers. Duminy, as he is a slow starter, but good once he gets going is a good three, with AB four, Faf at five and Miller at six. Albie in my view is more reputation these days that play and I would not have him in at all. Behardien would also not make the cut. Phangiso, should have had one game at least to show his talents. Steyn and Tahir held the batting together. Hendricks and Parnell had some good overs. Morne Morkel, could have bowled much better. Lopsy, sadly, has lost the sparkle and should not be int he team. But critically, Russell Domingo is the teams thorn in my view. Under him, SA is going to slide.....mark my words..

Posted by jimwhatever on (April 7, 2014, 3:23 GMT)

definitely AB should bat up the order steadying the innings. he also need some time before he can explode

Posted by Fahii on (April 6, 2014, 17:44 GMT)

SA has always been very competitive side only in a home/away series not not in Big Tournaments.........even S. Poluck, A. Donallad time they could not achieve a big title.

Posted by AminGhadiya on (April 6, 2014, 17:25 GMT)

In order for South Africa to win any major ICC tournament , they will have to bring in, and give more chance to special spin bowlers in their playing 11, not one spin bowler but may be two spin bowler, as they cannot every time relie on their fast bowling,.. They will have to come out of their fast bowling team image, and become spin inclusive friendly team to win a major ICC tittle....

Posted by proteasfire on (April 6, 2014, 17:18 GMT)

Even after repeated reminders by everyone about the position of AB and Miller, SA failed to make best use of their best batsmen and failed miserable. Its all down to tactics than anything else. They had good players but wasted it completely. JP Duminy at #5 is a big waste for SA as he plays lot of dot balls and takes 20 run s out of total score bcos of his slow nature of batting. He scored 45 of 40 balls , Miller on his day would score 80 of 40 balls. It makes lot of difference in t20. SA should learn or else they will fail in all big tournaments just like this.

Posted by AltafPatel on (April 6, 2014, 14:40 GMT)

When Lara, Sachin, Ponting and (even Kohli) were best at their time, they were coming at top of the order and contributing almost 50% to lead the team to win.

Posted by AltafPatel on (April 6, 2014, 14:39 GMT)

After depart of Smith, and Kallis, isn't time come for ABD to bat at No. 3 or at-least 4 ?!

Posted by AltafPatel on (April 6, 2014, 14:38 GMT)

When 9 out of top 10 T20 bowlers are spinners, and conditions in Bagnladesh were completely helping spinners, why they didn't include either deMerve or R Pietersen as second specialist spinner ? Donald as faster can't always pick fasters/seamers, he should think wide and understand pitches in sub-continent are helping spinners and its necessary to have at-least 2 specialist spinners in your bowling pool, that's only 1 at the time. They made same mistake in first test against Pak in UAE, which they corrected by including Tahir and they got the result. Their bowling strategy had been failing again and again for last 1 year in all formats of the game and they got the result like 1-1 level test series in UAE, 1-2 loss in ODI against Pak at home, hard winning 1-0 test series against India at home, 1-2 ODI series defeat against NZ at home, 1-2 test series and T20 series loss against Aus at home. Wish they learn the lesson before it cost them next World Cup.

Posted by AltafPatel on (April 6, 2014, 14:29 GMT)

SA didn't manage their bolwers well in the match. They went with strategy that kept failing and failing until they ousted from the tournament. They could have given 2 overs each to Steyn and Tahir in powerplay that could have save them at-least 20 runs a match, but rather they went defensive. That's why SL, Eng scored over 190, NZ almost beaten them though they had big total to defend, suicide batting form Netherland in final overs saved them game by 6 runs, and again India could chase down memoth of 173. To sum up them, bowling was the responsible for their defeat and they never deserved chance to semis, rather Netherland did so.

Posted by AltafPatel on (April 6, 2014, 14:26 GMT)

It will be injustice to call Albie failure with bat & ball. He didn't get chance with his best side of batting.

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (April 6, 2014, 13:40 GMT)

SA was perhaps the team that made the worst use of their resources. The bowling attack looked always short and it was only by chance that we even managed to sneak through to semis. Extremely disappointed by the management. Who on earth thinks Albie is good enough to bowl? let alone bowling with new ball. You can hide one bad bowler, but with SA it was a case of hiding 3. So, instead of thinking wickets they are more focused on getting 'a few overs through' which released the pressure on opposition. Only positive thing is that they didn't leave room for bringing up the choke word..

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 13:08 GMT)

@ Vineesh Vedsen - SA is a poor team by all accounts? Please explain this theory because I am sure that there are many people that disagree with you here, myself being one of them. The Proteas just made it into the semi finals, almost losing to a very impressive Netherlands side and were just out played and out classed in the semi finals to a fantastic Indian team! I am a Protea fan 100%, I live in SA, and trust me I am tired of the whole "chokers" tag, although I do not think we choked in this tournament, India just totally rocked, my money is on them for the win in todays final. It is going to be very interesting to see what changes as such are going to be made to this team and to management as such. If anything our problems are more related to on field decisions, so basically BMT. 170 plus is a fantastic score to put on in semi final, but not being able to defend it MEH It comes down to BMT! Faf, some of his decisions cost us unfortunately and I feel that is what cost the Proteas!

Posted by Ekanayaka on (April 6, 2014, 13:00 GMT)

Looking at the way South Africa so often flatters only to fail nowadays, did the great South African teams of a bygone era with tremendous players like Graeme Pollock, Tayfield, Mike Proctor, and Barry Richards have a certain brilliance, toughness, resilience and discipline that the post apartheid teams have lacked - and if so why ?. Perhaps it is not politically correct even to ask such questions !

Posted by Protears on (April 6, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

I would look at Khaya Zondo - Right Arm Off Break and a very clean hitter, bats 6th for the Dolphins in the shortned formats and 3rd in the long format and his Off Break is a lot better than Duminy. Yaseen Vallie from the Cobra's is another, bats 6th and slow left arm orthodox, both are 23 and 20 respectively so have a lot of upside. Dane Piedt I think is our best spinner for ODI's and T20's while I think that Simon Harmer is our best spinner for test matches.

T20: QDK/R.Hendricks, Amla, De Villiers, Du Plessis, Duminy/Miller, Zondo, Vallie/Frylick, Parnel, Piedt, B Hendricks/Steyn, Abbott/Tahir.

ODI: QDK/R.Hendricks, Amla, Roussouw/Van Zyl, De Villiers, Duminy/Miller, Du Plessisl, Zondo, Parnell, Piedt, Steyn/B.Hendricks/Abbott, Morkel/Tahir

Test: Elgar, R.Hendricks, Van Zyl/Roussouw, Amla, De Villiers, Du Plessis, Duminy/Zondo, Philander, Harmer, Steyn, Abbott/Morkel

Posted by izzidole on (April 6, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

South Africa should be happy atleast they made it to the semi final stage like the West Indies. Whereas Australia and England failed to do so and were eliminated in the preliminary stage. Eventually it had to be two teams from the subcontinent who would make it to the finals. The environment, the pitches, the dew factor were all tailor made for teams from the subcontinent. It could be a totally different story when played elsewhere out of the subcontinent when these two teams would struggle to remain in the competition. However the women cricketers from Australia and England have proved that it can be done by making it to the finals. The aussie women have proved once again that they are far superior than their male counterparts in batting, bowling and fielding by winning the T20 Womens World Cup for the third successive time.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 12:31 GMT)

Good article..disagree about Hendricks..he is not an attacking option and was more likely an unknown factor to the Indians...id rather have a bowling attack of Morne Morkel,Steyn,Parnell and Tahir..4 attacking options to give us 16 front line overs possibly.Otherwise the attack looks like a confused bits and pieces 2 man (Steyn and Tahir) show. Every bowler travels at times in this format so choosing attacking ones will give more of a chance than defensive ones.

Posted by pull_shot on (April 6, 2014, 12:18 GMT)

Just for fact tell me 1 game where ABD delivered in a knock out limited overs matches including IPL because i didn't remember one but in test's BIG YES, for semi final game India played to win where as SAF played not to loose

Posted by NGayanP on (April 6, 2014, 11:54 GMT)

In all these articles that analyse South Africa - One thing is left out - Heart and Passion; It is really time to contrast with teams such as Zimbabwe - As a country - everyone should be proud to support their team - as such, a team needs to, at least in the slightest, resemble the demographics of the people they represent. There is a lack of passion by fans and players - The reasons are obvious, but the solutions - not so simple - but, they have to start somewhere. South Africa are usually the best team on Paper - however - paper doesn't capture the impact players such as Darren Sammy, bring to a team - It doesn't capture that dedication, that commitment to take it that extra mile. The small things make the biggest difference.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

They need a better coach and maybe a fresher approach. How about a coach who is not SA?

Posted by android_user on (April 6, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

Expecting ABD and Steyn to deliver all the time is ridiculous. Miller is a good finisher and Duminy should be a floater in this lineup. Most importantly ABD has to bat at 3.

Posted by android_user on (April 6, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

SA is a poor team by all accounts. Every time if you fail at the same point and can do nothing about it, it is a terrible weakness.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 11:09 GMT)

phangiso should hav played what i thing is that u can tak an ordinary batsman in t -20 side but not an ordinary bowler thats what south africa did, ordinary bowler leaks runs n so opposition play ur stick bowler with ease, ur stick blower tries too hard he too start giving runs 172 was more than enough to defend

Posted by wapuser on (April 6, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

Everyone is blaming bowling. What about scoring only 47 in last 5 with 7 wickets in hans.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 10:15 GMT)

Opening the bowling with Duminy and Albie Morkel was asking to be hurt. In key matches it is vital to take early wickets. Steyn and Tahir were the top guns and if a spin and pace pairing was to be used it should have been that one.

Posted by cricketlover80 on (April 6, 2014, 10:08 GMT)

SA were initially saved by the good batting pitch in the semifinals compared to the turning pitches in super 8. Also they lacked another quality spinner other than Tahir. They batted well and put up a good score. All they needed was wickets. Steyn and Tahir maybe should have opened the bowling innings. May be initial movements and could have got a wicket or two. Whatever faf was doing with his initial bowling options could have helped some other day but on a semi final you need to back your best bowlers on the start of the innings. SA lost it in the powerplay overs.

Posted by cryptq1 on (April 6, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

The real question, which eludes Firdose, is why the selectors saddled the captain with a bunch of bits and pieces players in the first place.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 9:05 GMT)

The Morkel inclusion seemed odd from the outset given his poor domestic form. His over use as a bowler was equally confusing. His lame medium pacers had no swing or bite about them and he was dealt with by the opposition as a village cricketer. The belief that AB should come in the latter ten overs is a complete Bag of Excrement. He is one of the top 5 best batsmen in the world and the best in the SA line up. Having him at three and Behardien at four would've made more sense. De Kok will grow into his place and Amla is suited to open only. At 5 we should have duminy in if the third wicket falls before 12 overs. After 12 overs, drop Duminy to eight and fill spots 5,6 and 7 with big hitters. Bowling wise, not playing Phangiso but playing Hendriks was the dumbest decision ever. SUb continent demands specialist spinners not pace bowlers.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 8:46 GMT)

South Africa made poor decissions all the way down from the Selection pannel to The team captain/s. Kyle Abbot should have been chosen to go with the team.

Going forward what have the selectors done to bring new players into the fold, Q De Kock, right so Smith & Kallis have retired whom are 2very good batsmen and an allrounder...make do with what we have which shows why they were clueless about Aaron & Beuran not to play one & well they had no clue where to fit Beuran in the team, it's like the selectors have blinkers on & can only see straight ahead therefore being unable to explore all possible options!

We need a new selection pannel & a coach comprised of players whom are more knowledgeable about the current state of cricket in the world more in tune with the cricket of today not the 70's/ 80's ...Jaque Kallis, Graham Smith for example are 2 players whom have just retired & have plenty of skills to offer Makaya Ntini does too so does Paul Adams & Lance Klusner, Herschel Gibbs!

Posted by Arun.Iyer on (April 6, 2014, 8:27 GMT)

Good article. But in my opinion, this was the best SA squad selected. They did well to make it to semis. But let's be fair and ask a couple of questions. Before the match, did everyone expected SA to win? I believe no. The pitch assisted spinners and Indians had 2 in form spinners and Jadeja as a supporting role. To bat first and to put up 170+ was a commendable task by the SA team. I think they couldn't have done any better. Secondly, after putting up 170+, did SA have a fair chance of winning, definitely yes. They ran into red hot Kohli. But they sprayed too many wides. Didn't build enough dot balls and pressure. Further, holding Steyn back till the end when Kohli has got in was a bad strategy. Faf should've been more attacking and launched Steyn gun in the first and third over to get the early wickets. Who knows, maybe he could've had Rohit, Kohli and Yuvraj. They missed a trick there and were defensive with their tactics. And finally, they didn't choke!

Posted by android_user on (April 6, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

Yes. i agree with you Firdose. The captaincy and team selection was more or less poor besides some ordinary bowling at the death. The most criticised batsman, Amla came out the most consistent of the lot. de Cock showed he has long way to go to fulfill his promise. De villiers disappointed and so does Steyn. I think the snail paced Duminy innings denied South Africa a well 15-20 runs and in the end did them in. But yes they lost to a very assured and confident team led from the front by The Best Batsman in the world at present-Virat Kohli.

No shame in loosing this time, definitely not a choke, but it could have been much better if SA were more disciplined and organised. Faff has a lot of work to do even though the promise shown is promising.

Posted by Bloodwrath on (April 6, 2014, 7:25 GMT)

SA has the promising unit with overflowing talent which they need to manage effectively, Faf though a versatile player, his place shud b a question mark in the present playing XI ,Cues must have been taken from teams like SL and Ind which omitted talented players like Chandimal,Dhawan respectively,SA shud omit Faf unless Duminy is injured The Best Playing XI in Subcontinent is DeCock,Amla,Duminy/Miller,Devilliers,Duminy/Miller,A.Morkel,W.Parnell,R.Peterson/Phangiso,D.Steyn,Hendricks,I.Tahir

This unit can bring the best bring the allround talent and has enuf fire power to take out the best bowling unit

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 7:15 GMT)

Faf finally turned out to be a poor captain. Yes the large number of no balls did them in. But look at the choice of bowlers - opening with Dumminy and Albie. Even a Parnell and Hendricks would have been better. To be honest Steyn also did not bowl well. He stared with a wide and the extra last ball of the same over went for a six. That gave the courage for Ajnkya and Kohli to charge down all the bowlers including Steyn. 36 runs in 3 overs by Steyn- well he must take some responsibility for the loss. Bowling change was also not imaginative. Brought in Parnell at the wrong time for his second spell which went for 20 plus. Poor Faf. Poorer Faf.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 6:55 GMT)

I feel that they should one fast bowler and played Aaron Phangiso coz we indians never played him.

Posted by Anubhav-the-Experience on (April 6, 2014, 6:19 GMT)

The more wicket taking bowlers you have for this sort of surface, more are your chances to progress. India has Sri Lanka has even pakistan had good bowlers but less than India and Sri-Lanka...when Aussies had those three super fast bowlers they were destined to win in any case...either you have the X factor or you do things smartly..these are the only two options.

Posted by ProdigyA on (April 6, 2014, 4:46 GMT)

To be honest, I don't think SA really did that bad. They just were up against a really good Indian team and ran into a red hot Kohli. I don't think any other team could have done any better.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (April 6, 2014, 4:09 GMT)

It is bad selection of playing XI that cost the Proteas. Morne Morkel should have played in the final at the expense of one batsman. Indians have always struggled against his bounce and nip.

Posted by foursandsixes on (April 6, 2014, 3:44 GMT)

Winning in Asia is always going to be tough for Aus, SA, Eng, and NZ. The other teams are going to be that much better, and they are just not good enough when they travel to the sub-continent. The 2015 WC is their best chance.

Posted by Vnott on (April 6, 2014, 3:01 GMT)

It was a close game. SA batted well and set a good target. India was within striking distance but with 4 overs to go 40+ to get , Steyn having 2 overs...SA had the edge inspite of Kohli's presence... Here SA should have been flexible and bowled Steyn in 17th and 19th overs. Pressure may have piled. Instead we had Raina making merry with a wayward Over 17 from Parnell and the game was over.... Ifs and buts but SA can keep their head high. Wont be long till they win the knock out games too....

Posted by android_user on (April 6, 2014, 2:48 GMT)

Some of the worst captaincy in the tournament was done by DuPlessis. Who would send Duminy ahead of DeVilliers ? Bowl Morkel and Duminy ahead of Steyn and Tahir ? All this reeks of highly negative tactics.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 2:21 GMT)

I thought Faf did an excellent job handling the bowling in the Holland game but I was surprised that they didn't give Steyn two overs off the trot rather than allow the batsman to get settled. And Morkel had a bad game but so have many others including Steyn. Hendricks is a find for them and Tahir played well - another example of the allround Kallis being missed?

Posted by JaranNirsi on (April 6, 2014, 1:17 GMT)

It was a close match, which Kohli's masterly knock took away from SA, who could do nothing but watch. It is that way, sometimes. But teams travel poorly overseas these days and more so in major tournaments. SA need to learn from their experience in earlier matches,where they struggled, and were probably a trifle lucky to have made it to the semis, where they lost to a better team. India under MSD and with Kohli in this mood show great character, and there is nothing in the result for SA to be ashamed about. Australia were humiliated in the tournament, and the holders, WI, flattered only to deceive. SA should benefit from their showing, and work to translate it into a better showing in the next World Cup.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2014, 1:00 GMT)

@Firdose Moonda; You are alluding to reliance of past data and overanalysis as a contributory to the "less than desirable" results. Aren't you do the same thing. Hindsight is always brilliant. But taking a risk with partial data just plain and simple judgement is management. Any set of players ( as long as they are above a particular threshold of quality may flounder or flourish.

When they got out in the semis they tried their best; as any other combination by th SA selectors could have chosen.

I the semis, just like Mishra failed, the main artillery of SA, Steyn Gun didn't fire. Had he fired, a couple of wickets in the beginning and perhaps another one or two at death were beyond him and the results might have been different.

A longer term issue is captaincy. Under the banyan tree of Smith not many captaincy saplings sprout. Against odds, AB did grow into one with potential. The ony question is to decide between AB & Faf. To me Faf is a great player, but Captaincy? No!

Posted by m0se on (April 5, 2014, 23:35 GMT)

SA bowling was the problem. Why aren't they playing Phangiso or Robin Peterson in Bangladesh? The other two pacers except Styen were getting tonked around in all the matches. Duminy was doing a lot of spin bowling so why bowl Albie so much? The opening bowlers were innocuous and getting the batsmen set.

Posted by Prabs_M on (April 5, 2014, 22:27 GMT)

One has to forgive SA tactics because as the saying goes "Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it." Just not always true.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2014, 19:40 GMT)

SA did well but could have been more street smart-Domingo must go and Micky Arthur and Gary Kirsten must come back.They missed Kallis and Smith.They have some young guns that have good potential.They were a side of guts

Posted by   on (April 5, 2014, 19:02 GMT)

Excellent candid objective assessment - and totally accurate. For once our lack of progress was not due to panic under pressure. We kinda out thought ourselves and got a number of basics wrong and made some odd strategic calls. And its so true that this game allows for so little margin of error.

One thing's for sure, the team didn't fall short cos of lack of heart. If Faf, Dale and AB could only translate their passionate game faces in to calm / sound decision makers, we would be unbeatable.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2014, 18:25 GMT)

Yup poor strategy by proteas ,,abott should have been selected ,as he is a thinking bowler and bowls well at the death ,,steyn is great upfront and should have been utilized upfront ,, Yorker is better than slow balls that what exactly happened in the 16th over of parnell when he opted to ball slower bouncer to raina rather than orthodox bouncer and when he bowled yorkers at the same over he got better results ,,I think there is 2 ways to bowl better yorkers 1st targets the base of the stump and the 2nd one targets the base of outside offstump near to wide line ,,and it is effective than any other delivery at the death overs.. Albie is a better batsman not a good bowler ,,Mclaren should have played ,,he is a clever bowler and useful batman ..Tsotsobe is no way a t20 bowler ... the bad thing is, they keep doing the same mistakes over and over again ,,I don't know when will they learn to make better plans .. :(

Posted by   on (April 5, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

South Africa have been struggling in limited overs cricket for quite some time. They are an excellent test side, but are quite ordinary in ODIs and T20s. The bowlers quite often go for a lot of runs. Even Steyn isn't that lethal in the shorter formats. The only consistent performers are AB and Amla. Duminy, Miller, etc. are unreliable and De Kock is still very knew. Behardien is just awful. They never looked like one of the contenders for the trophy this time around and I am not surprised at all about the result. They did not choke this time - SA were outplayed by India and were simply not good enough.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (April 5, 2014, 17:40 GMT)

Yet they won three, very close matches that many South African sides of the past would have lost and got through to the semi-Finals. The one close match that they lost was the first one. For a side to have four matches decided by six runs or fewer and to win three of them suggests that they have something and that when they went against the line of the successful sides of loading their attack with spin.

Posted by android_user on (April 5, 2014, 17:35 GMT)

Excellent article.It appeared as if SA took the match for granted after posting 172 on board and had assumed that big a score is big enough for the semis.Finally it left them wondering what went wrong.The mindset of the Indians was positive throughout while it appeared SA was relying on stats after posting the total.This was the difference between the sides.SA let India off the hook initially and tried attacking later when Indians were doubly confident on the final destinstion...

Posted by Vishal_07 on (April 5, 2014, 17:17 GMT)

The loss to India came down to a few key points (not counting that the Indian team was superior): 1. India's 16th and 17th over when they were bowling which kept the score in the 170s instead of more daunting 180s or 190s 2. Duminy bowling the opening over, releasing the pressure immediately, in fact it was like asking the opponents to settle down first. 3. Parnell bowling to Raina instead of Steyn - that was a big one in my eyes. Even though Raina edged few boundaries, I believe Steyn would have him done by the 2n or 3rd bowl bringing immediate pressure.

Again, India was the superior team that day but doesn't mean that you don't make them earn every single run!

Posted by Protears on (April 5, 2014, 17:07 GMT)

I am tired of people talking on the reliance of old players going nowhere, Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Albie Morkel are relics of the past that should never come up again. We have a tremendous array of younger players better suited to the rigors of limited overs cricket; Zondo, Bavuma, Van Zyl, Roussouw, R. Hendricks, Vallie, Piedt, Harmer, Abbott, Morris, Frylick, Vilas, Wiese.

T20- Bavuma, R. Hendricks, Faf, ABDV, Duminy, Miller, Zondo, Vallie, Parnell, Piedt, B. Hendricks. Squad: Abbott, QDK, Roussouw, Van Zyl, Frylick, Tahir, Amla, Steyn. (take 5-6 of those depending on conditions)

I am also tempted to withdraw De Villiers, Steyn and Amla from this format as they are key test match and ODI performers.

Posted by android_user on (April 5, 2014, 17:02 GMT)

for heaven s sake why can't they slot AB at no.3? I mean he s the most versatile player that they ve got and they almost always waste him at no.5 ...duminy is another guy who can shift gears like AB and he needs to be at no.5 after faf.... effectively SA s fast bowlers apart from steyn were blunted and they lost the plot more than once... however they can still lay a strong challenge at next year's WC in Australian conditions ... why don't they try out philander? amla; de kock; AB; faf ; duminy ; miller; mclaren/albie; Parnell; hendericks/morkel; steyn and tahir should be the XI for the WC

Posted by   on (April 5, 2014, 16:38 GMT)

Cricket has become victim to computer analysis, statistical predictions & interpolations and tactical strategies. Time will soon come when ambidextrous batsmen/bowlers will bat/bowl left/right handed for part of an over. Days when batsmen and bowlers exhibited their talent and free will and entertained the crowds are sadly gone. Albie opened bowling because stats showed he dismissed Rohit Sharma 9 times earlier. Yesterday Rohit dismissed Albie. Blind faith in stats cost SA the game. Had they played to their true ability and with their natural flair they would have put lot greater pressure on India.

Posted by SHER-A-PANJAB on (April 5, 2014, 16:23 GMT)

100 % true ....SA board is not using its full strenth of telented players ...EMERGING PLAYERS ...Smith out and MORKELL in ,We dnt need this kind of players in T-20 Thus A.MorkellHe WAS A POOR LINK ...that is why captain could not make best eleven ...WIESE ,MERWE,JENNINGS ....like and even ELGAR could have been batter option when you need a spinner / batsman in ASIA ...Look at Ravinder Jadeja....wake up SA board ...

Posted by Vkarthik on (April 5, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

Fair analysis. They did not have the right team to compete here. Against India they might have struggled no matter which team they came up with as conditions favored India. But they struggled against other teams too.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2014, 16:10 GMT)

Robin Petersen would have been better choice then Alba Morkel. And where is Johan Botha, once captain of their T20 side. Morne Morkel should have played in place of Hendricks. Indians always have problems with his disconcerting bounce.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (April 5, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

SA are surely a confused lot.If they now sit down and think about their performance,they should understand that there is no method in their madness.Surely they are capable of winning world tournaments.They have great cricketers,no doubt.They fail in their execution.Better luck next time you talented cricketers...

Posted by Rambo_MW3 on (April 5, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

Its true, the SA team didn't look like one. Guess they missed leader like smith on and off the field.

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Tournament Results
India v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Apr 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
India v South Africa at Dhaka - Apr 4, 2014
India won by 6 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 27 runs (D/L method)
Pakistan v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
West Indies won by 84 runs
Bangladesh v Australia at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days