ICC World Twenty20

Proteas 'in a time-warp'

2010-05-11 10:16
Herschelle Gibbs (File)
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – World media scorn has accompanied the predictable wrath of South African fans after the Proteas’ feeble exit from the ICC World Twenty20 at the hands of Pakistan at Gros Islet on Monday.

Scant consolation for Graeme Smith’s team was that England beat New Zealand in the later Super Eights match at the venue, which would have meant them going through to the semi-finals had they not fallen 12 runs short of beating the unpredictable Pakistanis, who progressed themselves from the section with the resurgent English.

Nick Hoult of The Daily Telegraph accused South Africa of a “limp batting effort” in their botched chase of a modest enough 149.
“South Africa’s run chase lacked urgency and only the odd spurt of boundaries kept the result respectable.

“(They) lacked a co-ordinated selection policy throughout the competition and seemed stuck in a time-warp.

“Herschelle Gibbs’s days, internationally at least, appear to be over while Jacques Kallis continues to play those run-a-ball innings that England have realised more often than not lose matches in this format rather than win them.

“Smith had a poor tournament and for some reason Rusty Theron, their 24-year-old fast bowler, was never trusted again after a thumping in a warm-up match, despite showing plenty of evidence in the Indian Premier League of possessing crucial death-bowling skills.”

On the India-based Cricinfo website’s match bulletin, Siddarth Ravindran wrote: “South Africa lived up to their reputation of coming up short in crunch matches with an inexplicably meek batting display after a Charl Langeveldt masterclass in end-innings bowling had kept Pakistan to a gettable total.

“Pakistan will thank the redoubtable SA top-order for idling early in the chase … they left the onslaught far too late.”
The Guardian’s Andy Bull observed: “South Africa are going home having completed their 13th consecutive international tournament without a win.

“They took on a new team psychologist, Henning Gericke, a couple of months ago. One of his key innovations was to get the players to keep personal diaries about what they could do to get to ‘the next level’.

“Whatever Albie Morkel and Johan Botha put in theirs, it surely cannot have been to start a final over in which they needed 17 runs to win with a string of three singles.

“You cannot help but wonder if South Africa would not have been better off spending a little more time thinking about strategy and team selection, and a bit less filling in their journals.

“They returned to a two-spinner strategy … but at the cost of Morne Morkel, their leading wicket-taker. They missed him.”

Bull also echoed the thoughts of Sport24 in the immediate aftermath of the defeat: “No one will say they choked – they never looked like winning the thing in the first place.”


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