South Africa came in to the T20 world cup as one of the contenders, in spite of all the baggage they have been carrying ever since their re-entry to world cricket in 1990-91. Some of their players featured in the recently concluded IPL 3 and seemed to be in form, including the rejuvenated Kallis at the top of the order, Albie Morkel performing well for his franchise (Chennai) and their bowling ace Dale Steyn, hustling batsmen even on flat Indian pitches with his pace and deadly swing. They have always been one of the best fielding sides and with players like AB DeVilliers, Mark Boucher, and with their skipper Graeme Smith coming back in to the fold, they surely did look set for a semifinal spot (at the least) and on their way to erasing years of futility in international events. And then, the tournament began.
Posted in South Africa, T20 World Cup 2010
Tagged AB DeVilliers, Albie Morkel, Charl Langeveldt, Dale Steyn, England, Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, India, IPL, Jacques Kallis, Johan Botha, Kevin Pietersen, Loots Bosman, Mark Boucher, Morne Morkel, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Twenty20 World cup
After his team crashed out of the Twenty20 World cup tournament, a lot sooner than everybody thought, the national team’s coach from South Africa, wants a change in approach from his players:
“We won’t win the World Cup in 2011 if we continue like this. We’ll have to change our approach. We cannot keep repeating the same errors and not make changes.”
The team had players prepared for the Twenty20 world cup by playing in the IPL but even with that, they got knocked out early. He said that “few hard calls” will have to be made to achieve the results that is expected of the team. He added:
“I don’t want to come down on individuals, but the time is right for change. We have to sit down and think about what is important to change and which players are the right ones to fit in with that change. If we need to make a few hard calls, it will be done.”
He tried to identify the cause of the problems and why his team may have failed to get to the semifinals.
“We again could not cope with the pressure. The question has to be asked why we could not manage it and why it happens repeatedly. Is it our approach to batting, is it our general approach, or are we maybe too tentative? Those are the questions you need to ask yourself. We never reached the kind of form that allowed us to charge. If we performed well in one area, we performed poorly in another. As a team we did not perform well in all three disciplines.”
“We need to find out exactly why they were so under par, and what can be done to improve the situation,” Andrew Hudson, newly-appointed convenor of selectors, was quoted as saying by the Sport 24 website.
Wait, Andrew what?? Oh.. All of the above were about South Africa and by their coach Van Zyl?. I thought for a second, since the cricket world revolves around India alone, the above statements were about India’s failures at the world cup. So, there was another top notch team that was expected to do well, didn’t? Who woulda thunk? 🙂
After accomplishing the first step (as easily as they were expected to) in regaining the T20 world cup trophy, India were on to sussing their strengths and weaknesses, against an equally strong South African team, who should be among the top 3 contenders for the cup, on Sunday May 2, 2010. India had a setback before the toss, with Gautam Gambhir declared unavailable due to diarrhea. Also, they rested Zaheer Khan, which meant, India went in with a spin heavy attack and a brand spanking new opening combination (both bowling & batting).
The pitch, similar to other pitches in the Caribbean, was expected to be slow and assist spinners. But due to the early start, there was to be some assistance to the pace bowlers as well. The outfield at the picturesque Beausejour cricket field was lush, which meant its gonna be slow and there is not gonna be much value for the shots and there will be premium put on running between the wickets. South Africa, winning the toss, elected to insert India in, to take advantage of whatever assistance their pace heavy bowling line up could get from the pitch and through the air. Continue reading