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Last throw of the dice for SA

2012-10-01 22:07

Colombo - The Proteas have a habit of failing to deliver in crunch matches at major tournaments but coach Gary Kirsten says they must produce the goods in Tuesday's World Twenty20 clash with India.

The South Africans have lost their previous two Super Eight games and can only qualify for the semi-finals by beating India by a resounding margin while hoping Group Two rivals Australia defeat Pakistan.

"We know what we need to do, we've got to execute. We also know exactly how you must play in these conditions," Kirsten told reporters on Monday.

"The guys don't do it all the time... in fact they have seldom done it here."

South Africa won their round-robin matches in Sri Lanka but then lost to Pakistan and Australia in the Super Eights.

India have won once and lost once in Group Two and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows they face a tough match against South Africa.

"They are a very good side," said Dhoni. "They have a very complete bowling line-up with fast bowlers, two spinners and they also have batsmen who can score runs at a good pace.

"But in this format we have to click as a team, with somebody scoring 40 or 50 with the bat and the rest producing cameos of 10, 15, 20."

The match at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo starts at 16:00 (SA time).

Reuters

Comments
  • christelle.james.7 - 2012-10-01 22:28

    I am so dissappointed in our team. We have some of the world's best - we are topping the ICC ratings everywhere. Why can we not get over ourselves and win the important matches!

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-02 01:00

      Let's maybe look at it on paper. each individual player on the SA team vs what the opposition have. Australia, Pak and India clearly have more superior talent. I'm not now saying that SA are a weak side, I'm just saying the batting and bowling units of these teams are superior to SA on paper. Maybe just not as good as we think we are.

      thomas.cannon.712 - 2012-10-02 01:39

      boom!!! You maybe right in some players having superior talent, but I think it's overall mental toughness where we fall woefully short!!! No pressure games we stand with the best but just look pathetic when it comes to having to qualify in knockout tournaments!! Our batting just has no heart, and when Amla falls early we give up!! It doesn't help if Gary and Co have no idea on which team they want to settle with!!!

      Christelle - 2012-10-02 01:54

      No boom, don't agree. Look at the ICC rankings - we are topping everywhere.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-02 01:55

      @tom but the 1st match wasn't even a knockout so no pressure. 2nd match also not a guaranteed knockout so only moderate pressure. That's now 2 opportunities squandered with no instant knockout pressure. It's also maybe the form some of these batsman are in is just unstoppable ie. Watson. Even quality bowling won't work. Right now there's no Watson in the SA batting line up. You need Levi for that and he didn't show up this time. The problem is the 1st 6 overs, if you can get to 50/1 then you can post a big score. If you at 50/4 at that stage things don't look good for a win. To get you to 50/1 you need Watson, dilshan, gayle, warner, sehwag. Now Pak or SA don't have those, so we're at a disadvantage already.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-02 02:05

      Amla, Levi and Kallis all good but who would you rather have opening for you? Watson, Gayle, dilshan, sehwag or those 3? These are consistent explosive batsman that can get you to 170. Afridi used to be up there but right now, the "anywhere for 6" mentality just isn't working anymore. For our big match tomorrow, If we get out Watson, Warner, hussey we should win. if we don't then we have no chance. SA has an even bigger problem, India's openers plus middle order until 8 are explosive. So right now, it doesn't look good. India and Aus seem like they can handle the semis better.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-02 02:09

      Christelle, in 20 over format leading wicket takers are all spinners no SA bowlers. Top 3 Ajmal, Afridi, Gul (despite flop batting the pak bowling is world class) Already in this tournament the highest run getters I think are gayle, dilshan, watson. SA players nowhere. ICC rankings won't count. You need to be 50/1 after 6 overs and you need the big guns to do it. We have no big guns :(

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-02 02:19

      What Pak need now to qualify is rain lol avoidance strategy :D

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-02 02:24

      You 50/4 the middle order comes in they're too scared to whack it they need to play it safe. AB could not finish and whack it like he does in IPL. Why? Because no gayle or dilshan at the top to get you to 70/1. Same with Pak. Middle order gets nervous, they can't handle it, batting collapses and game over. It's not choking, it's bad batting :)

      UNITY - 2012-10-02 06:42

      it is dissapointing to have good ratings and not win major tournaments.SA has top players , they just need to fire up, they have the ability , but the sponge in their brain is dried up. Kirsten will fill that gap, he has to, his reputation to turn it around is at stake. Selectors and CSA are the other problem in bringing young talent into the sides.

      mike.dufham.7 - 2012-10-02 07:41

      It has ben a pathetic performance by the Proteas. Please don't say that they cannot play this form of the game because when, as individuals they play in th IPL they always "shine". So what's the difference? Money is the answer

      nicholas.graan - 2012-10-02 08:12

      We are a good side, a good test side and a good one day side. What people seem to miss is that T20 is a total different style of cricket which we have not adapted to yet. By throwing in the same players we are doing ourselves a huge disservice. Our bowling line up isn't too bad but we need to pick a couple of specialist pinch hitters. Hopefully after this the penny will drop.

      john.comyn.18 - 2012-10-02 08:12

      We can't get over the line because we are too set in our game plan. Albie Morkel needs to be in the side and pushed up the batting order. So must AB de Villiers. Both players are top performers in the IPL. The top 3 batters have been abysmal. In essence we need to try something different and then even if they do I think the horse has bolted. i can't see the Aussies doing us any favours. Fortune favours the brave in 20Twenty.

      mthi4life - 2012-10-02 10:16

      We need to gamble and open with Albie Morkel,he is a very good batsman and has better all-round ability than Levi,but in this game we have to get Sehwag and Kholi out early then we might stand a chance.Win or loose we will always support you because if we don't then who will.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-02 10:21

      i think opening faf will get you stability at the top. based on his ipl experience i think he's a better pick over levi.

  • PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-10-01 22:43

    I don't give a damn what anyone says... I support the Proteas, win or lose. Having said that, jirre, you ou's, speel lekker, man! Regardless of the outcome, I will continue to believe that you all did the best you could on the day.

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-10-01 23:25

      Well said. It's a given they'll try their best on the day, these are fiercely competitive, proud and patriotic guys. But sometimes doing your best isn't enough to win and the opponents will prevail. Such is life. I don't mind losing, it just makes winning all the sweeter when it happens. As long as the guys play with honour and integrity, win with humility and lose graciously and sportingly, that's all I ask of them.

      godfrey.welman - 2012-10-01 23:56

      @Brain, I am with you Proteas forever. Just wish they can think out-of-the-box and try a left-hand right-hand combination to open eg Amla and RobbieP followed by Kallis or JP (to keep left-right) then AB. The opposition knows there is 3 right-hand batsman coming of which only 1 plays spin well at the start.

      lean.sadie - 2012-10-02 00:14

      Agreed. Will always support them no matter what. Most people just don't understand, and have no clue what a true supporter is.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-02 00:55

      Good team SA. they deserve some silverware. But really I think these losses are simply because they just havn't fired rather than the "psychological" reason.

      roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-02 05:40

      No wonder our Proteas are chokers. Look at the posts of some people and one can see that they keep backing LOSERS no matter what.

      stephen.axtell.7 - 2012-10-02 08:22

      @Roy W , get lost idiot. Its called being level headed and realistic. No run along troll

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-10-01 22:43

    The Proteas seem to have a problem in self belief....they create their "choker" issue...by not having a positive thought pattern....instead they go out thinking "what happens if I go out" and so what happens "they go out"...instead of saying to themselves "I 'm going to get 50 runs"....it's amazing how the right frame of mind can change everything....look at Watson (Aussie, yesterday)...he had the go go attitude...and nothing could stop him. When you believe you can achieve...you do just that..achieve.

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-10-01 23:01

      I somehow suspect that the Proteas are a little bit ahead of you on this one. Do you honestly think it's never crossed anbody's mind in the Proteas camp to spend time on sports psychology, self-belief, etc? What do you think they were doing in Switzerland?

      godfrey.welman - 2012-10-01 23:45

      @Richard I am with Sandra here, they do not have the confidence to play freely, how many 6's has the top 3 hit compare to other teams.

      sean.bagley.50 - 2012-10-01 23:47

      @richard.barnes.3914 "What do you think they were doing in Switzerland?" Preparing for their Test Series in England which they won 2-0. Stop being such a selfrighteuos cricketing jerk all the time trying to convince others that you know all the answers to every comment made here on cricket.Grow up will you cause no one has to see things the way you do.Your wannabe encyclopedic passion for cricket knowledge is getting a little OTT now.

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-10-02 00:13

      So the Test series in England required a different self-belief than the self-belief needed for the T20? PS. It doesn't require encyclopaedic knowledge of cricket to understand that all professional sports teams employ sports psychology and that mental preparation is as basic as diet, fitness training, net practice, etc. All it needs is just the most basic grasp of how the professional world works. I mean, telling seasoned pros who have been in sport their whole adult life like Gary Kirsten that he needs his squad to learn how to think positively? Really? Seriously? Just how stupid do you think he is?

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-10-02 01:01

      Godfrey, it's kinda hard hitting sixes when you only last for a few balls, are hopelessly out of knick and couldn't hit the side of a barn with a guided missile. In sports like golf or cricket, form can be a very elusive thing. It's not something you just turn on at will. Hash and JK had no problem hitting boundaries in England, Levi had no problem hitting sixes in New Zealand. Faf was on fire in the IPL. Now he can't buy a run. I hardly think their loss of form is because they've forgotten how to think positively.

      thomas.cannon.712 - 2012-10-02 01:42

      Well put Sandra!!!

      Johannes - 2012-10-02 10:09

      Sandra - I agree with you in terms of, a positive attitude and self belief is extremely important! BUT, you can have all the self belief in the world, along with a positive thought pattern and you still don't make that 50. You still get that peach of a delivery or the ball stays slightly lower or bounces more off the pitch and you get caught. It is very easy to ooze positivity when you are the leading wicket tacker AND run scorer in a tournament. I don't even think anything like this has ever happened. Sometimes things just go your way. You cannot always make runs. You cannot simply believe you are going to make runs and then 'whalla', you make runs.. It just doesn't work like that. That being said, it certainly is a contributing factor in order to achieve.

  • gnoise.prod - 2012-10-01 23:11

    if Faf opens the batting with Alma i believe we will beat india & advance to the semis & also advance to the final and lift the trophy

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-02 00:52

      now gnoise all this depends on which Pakistan team turns up tomorrow. Don't get ahead of yourself :)

      gnoise.prod - 2012-10-02 06:18

      @ whichever team turns up,i don't think Pakistan will match Australia if they play with the same 11

  • xozamandi - 2012-10-01 23:20

    first my suggestion, is to change the starting order, I don't see these guys going further with this performance, it's choking...

  • jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-10-01 23:47

    I wonder if the SA players are not exhausted after a tough test match series against England followed by a string of one day matches and 20/20's. They could not have had much down time between the tour and the 20/20 WC. It is mental exhaustion that is the issue rather physical, it would explain why they are unable to rise to the occasion and are looking as if they'd prefer to be sunbathing on a beach somewhere. Perhaps our officials should learn to treat high calibre performers like human beings first and be careful how they schedule matches and tours.

  • ndyeboreginaldmazawule - 2012-10-02 02:29

    I don't see them qualifying at all.

  • nina.s.oosthuizen - 2012-10-02 02:58

    Levi out, open with Devilliers and Amla

      Johannes - 2012-10-02 10:11

      Nina - I agree fully! You don't even know how long I have been saying this. AB will be the next Gilchrist, maybe even better :)

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-02 05:35

    What Gary is basically saying is:"That the Proteas are chokers when it comes to deliver at the the important games" The Proteas will Never get rid of this tag.

      stephen.axtell.7 - 2012-10-02 08:24

      Idiot troll

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-10-02 07:20

    Proteas always in a do or die situation and this only to go through to semi finals or to put it bluntly , to qualify. The first round is to eliminate the little teams...... So that's us gone then.

  • marc.gallant.106 - 2012-10-02 07:35

    when is Kallis going to win us a ICC world cup match?

  • thulani.b.kiviet - 2012-10-02 07:36

    The biggest problem here is that we have taken the best ODI batsman in the world and given him the gloves and also made him captain. At some point something's gotta give. There is too much pressure on AB, so much so that he himself is not performing. He is a great cricketer but not a good captain. I say relieve AB from his duties as captain and let him do what he does best. Put runs on the board for the proteas.

      malcolm.lindsaypayne - 2012-10-02 08:54

      I could not agree more.We are wasting a great talent :(

      Johannes - 2012-10-02 10:21

      Oh wow you guys. It was just a few weeks ago we were all saying yes he can handle everything when he was the second highest run scorer in England after Amla.

  • victor.freeman.39 - 2012-10-02 07:39

    The problem with T20 is that it takes one good performance to win a match. A quickfire Gayle/Watson/Sehwag 70 and the game is as good as gone. I won't be too harsh on the boys in this format. Champions trophy and the World Cup is where I'll be looking for an improvement in how they deal with pressure.

  • Hansie.Crook - 2012-10-02 07:42

    Coach (Gary Kirsten) couldn't shake off the choker tag in 1996,1999 and 2003 World Cups... Bowling coach (Alan Donald) also couldnt shake off the choker tag in 1996,1999 and 2003 World Cups. Who can forget Alan Donalds run out in 1999 World Cup in England???

      stephen.axtell.7 - 2012-10-02 08:26

      Simple dont support and dont comment on these articles. That what I can never understand, if person hates something why do they read articles about it and comment. If I dont like something I wont read an article about it then comment

      Hansie.Crook - 2012-10-02 08:57

      Good for you!

      Johannes - 2012-10-02 10:27

      How do you explain India winning the last limited over WC (which by the way is FAR more impressive than t20)?? Guess who their coach was? Guess who they lifted on their shoulders while lifting the trophy? Who did they ALL say was crucial in lifting the trophy?

  • sivene.nunwana - 2012-10-02 07:56

    hoping that the Aussies win the T20

  • nhlapop - 2012-10-02 08:19

    All the best. Im dissappointed about the loss against Pakistan, we never won any major tournament recently. We did ver well during England tour. I wish Proteas all the best against India, its going to be tough one but we can make it.

  • Hansie.Crook - 2012-10-02 08:19

    A big win margin against India. Pakistan loosing to Australia. Then SA are through!!! Its no longer cricket but mathematics now.... Too many permutations, but Good Luck!!!

  • tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-02 08:33

    I think we should adopt a Gibbs attitude, we have nothing to loose. Meaning, all guns blazing. I loved Peterson's attitude against Australia - we need more of that.

  • cynthia.biljoen - 2012-10-02 08:46

    The Proteas top order have to walk in, stand and deliver! This is do or die time boys. The batsmen have not performed well in these super 8 games, so let's hope that today they do! Gosh, can't believe I actually hve to cheer Australia on today!!! Come on Proteas!!!!

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-02 09:03

    @stephen.axtell.7 wonder who the biggest idiots are,those who look for excuses to back a #1"team" who "choke" when they play a good team or those who are honest enough to call it as they see it. We do have a good team but this has happened before that our batting and bowling has let us down at the important games. So before you call people idiots,LOOK IN THE MIRROR and you will see yourself.

  • tim.kilpin - 2012-10-02 09:04

    Not effective enough in the first six overs and losing wickets in this period does not help and puts to much pressure on the remasining batsmen but then our cricket against Austalia and threw the match away against Pakistan. Still a flicker of hope

      tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-02 09:14

      That's why I don't mind somebody like Levi. The 20/20 game is too short to lose all your wickets and as long as you have good middle - lower order batting line-up (like SA have), then you can blaze away at the top. Pity is, Levi never looked like he was going to take them on, before losing his wicket.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-02 09:11

    @stephen.axtell.7 seems to find fault with people who post comments who don't agree with his. If one looks at his profile picture it is hard to understand if he is an "honest" person or just following all the other maaifoedies who back losers/chokers. Shame!

  • jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-02 09:43

    Come on boys, last chance!!!

  • vincent.s.cupido - 2012-10-02 09:49

    Eish, I really hope and pray we win today, but I know for a fact it will be tough given the wealth of brilliance in the Indian team, with a good balance of skill between bat and ball. What's favouring them more, they are experienced in winning crunch games, and this is undoubtedly a crunch game, more for us then for India, with them having won at least one Super 8 game, and with us having won none of the two we played. We are very much predictable. Yes, Levi will play again, despite his low level of confidence and form (hopefully he won't play or he finds form immediately after the first ball he faces. eish, wishful thinking). Yes, we will open our fielding innings with pace/fast bowling, and not with spin like the other teams did, and be blasted all over the field within no time. Yes, Morne will bowl at the death again despite his pathetic spell at that stage of the game. Yes, we won't give our spinners the maximum four overs to bowl, but except Johan B and Robin P we will give the others just one or two each, despite the fact that we saw other teams investing more in spin than pace, with dividends galore. Yes, lost of early wickets would see JP/Kallis failing to strike a balance between conservative play and smashing the odd bad balls for a four/six, the odd bad balls would only be played for 1 or 2 runs, thereby recovering very slowly, building huge pressure on ourselves, posting a less respectable score at the end of the innings, may be we should chase, not defend.

  • thabo.malose.31 - 2012-10-02 10:06

    Our chance in ozzies hands,and even though they might come through it will still not be enough cause we have to rollover india to qualify. They is no such luck, is over.

  • rboy24 - 2012-10-02 11:54

    Its like the Springboks ,,,all about Team Selection...example : Amla is not a T20 player, play FaF, why not play Tshashobe ,,,???? Play Youngsters !!!!!

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