Kirsten plays down series loss

2011-10-29 14:01

Durban - Proteas coach Gary Kirsten remains upbeat ahead of the two Test matches against Australia despite his side losing the one-day international (ODI) series here on Friday.

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Taking a more relaxed approach to the three-wicket loss in the third ODI, and the 1-2 ODI-series loss, Kirsten said it was more important that the team spent time in the middle and were match-fit ahead of the two Tests.

"What’s been important in this one-day series is that some guys have got themselves into form and, more importantly, they are game-ready," Kirsten said.

"They’ve had a bit of heavy competition now and we know playing against Australia was never going to be easy.

"It was always going to be a tough battle and it’s been a competitive series so far, so it’s been great from that perspective."

Kirsten admitted he would have liked to have won the series but said the South Africans were outplayed in the last match.

"Obviously we’d like to have closed the series out, but we didn’t," he said.

"I don’t think we played well enough and they played much better than us."

Winning the toss and posting a total of 222 on a wicket which did not offer the usual Kingsmead pace, the hosts struggled to score runs and were unable to lift their run-rate towards the end, despite having wickets in hand.

"I don’t think it was that bad a total," said Kirsten after the match.

"It was very difficult to score freely on that wicket so maybe if we’d got 15-20 more runs it would have made it more interesting, but I didn’t think we batted that badly."

Apart from one loose over from teenager Pat Cummins, in which Hashim Amla hit him for four boundaries, the Australians bowled with discipline and restricted the batsmen and put them under pressure towards the end of the South African innings.

"All our batsmen felt they really struggled to score freely but we also have to give credit to the Australian bowlers," admitted Kirsten.

"I think we only got 48 runs in the last ten (overs) and their bowlers hit really good lengths, so we found it difficult to score.

"We were in a pretty good position towards the end, with wickets in hand, and we thought we could really launch in the last 10 but never got anything going."

Storms had been forecast for the evening, and both sides had to keep in mind the Duckworth Lewis calculation, making it important to score aggressively upfront should there be a rain delay.

While the weather held, Australia adjusted to the bowling conditions and executed with the ball in a more disciplined manner.

"It just boiled down to who bowled better," Kirsten said.

"We accepted the fact that maybe our execution and our bowling wasn’t as good as it could have been at certain times.

"I think it was going to be one of those games where it was going to go down to the wire.

"So we were just out - probably just one wicket out.

"If we’d have picked up another wicket when they still needed 70-80 runs, we could have been right in there."

Kirsten said the team were looking forward to the Test series which gets underway in Cape Town on November 9 and they hoped to have AB de Villiers back in the side by then. "He needs some game time, so he’ll try and play some franchise cricket before the Test series starts but he’s looking good at the moment.

"We look forward to the Tests and I’m feeling confident the guys are getting into some good form, which we need, going into the Test series."


  • Shirley - 2011-10-29 14:39

    Oh please! Pieter! Match fixing is a hysterical response to J.P. and Muller not finding the middle of the bat! We get a new coach,insert new young players in the team and the first tour of the season we lose and this is the response? South africans are fickle fans and supporters. When Smith is hitting 150 olus he is a hero but let him go off the boil he is fat and useless. I agree S.A. cricket needs a lot of work with a lot of changes but the public should also change their attitude. Everyone wanted Kirsten as a coach and the first couple of games he resides over he is expected to produce a world cup winning team. The proteas are labeled chokers which is an albatros around their neck and then to add to the pressure if they lose a game down to the wire its match fixing. Lets be objective supporters and look at facts before we get hysterically negative.

      Johan - 2011-10-29 14:48

      I do agree, with pretty much everything you said, except the smith thing, he really shouldnt be in the team, drop him to provincial level, let him play there for a couple of months, regain his form, and then promote him again. Just a slight reality check has never hurt anyone... ie Kallis was slightly off the boil a couple of seasons ago, he was also looking a bit more "rounded", bowling mid 120's, then he got his act together, got fit, came back got a double ton and now hes back to bowling around 140's. Take a hint smithers...

      brendonml - 2011-10-29 14:52

      I love you.

  • Shirley - 2011-10-29 14:59

    Johan I agree, Smith needs a lot of work.Margie-there is nothing in the world you can REALY trust. However if you have a love for the game you should accept the highs and the lows and not place the burden of guilt on a team till you are proven right. If that is your opinion of the proteas then you are wasting your time by watching as win or lose you wont believe the result thus devoiding the game of all pleasure and purpose!

  • Gary - 2011-10-29 16:17

    Is it so hard to believe we lost fair and square, match fixing, please, pull the other one, while it was disappointing and frustrating, and to be honest pissed me off, but hey thats sport, on to the next one

  • Razz - 2011-10-29 16:25

    The wizard of Oz is still better than the PROTEAS.

  • marco.tomaso - 2011-10-29 16:45

    New coach and a new captain in this One Day Series with Australia,but still the same result for South Africa!How about that! I don't even remember when was the last time South Africa even won a Series,in any format of the game that is,let alone against one of the top tier nations.I reckon South Africa will lose the test series either 2-0 or 1-0 against Australia and then Graeme Smith will come out with an anouncement saying that he is retiring from international cricket.That's what I suspect we will see happening at the end of this series. South African Sport as a whole can't seem to wanna get rid rid of players and staff members soon enough.Players who at one time served CSA so well,but are now unable to do so again because they can't cut it at this level anymore are being kept in the side purely on past glory days form they've showed and nothing more.Its just one of those things that South African Sports across the board does and for the life of me I'll never know why they run their sports like that.

      Johan - 2011-10-29 16:55

      Nice copy and paste from a previous article. Try come up with something more original.

  • Martin - 2011-10-29 16:49

    The new rules state that one needs to take the powerplay on or before the 35th over. We lost two quick wickets just before that and we sent in JP and Faf, who both need time to settle. Surely the right call would have been to send in Boucher or Miller or even both. It was clear that somebody needed to come from the lower order in order to up the run rate. We had enough wickets in hand and nobody seemed to have the urgency. That was our game for the taking and we through it away.

      Bob - 2011-10-31 13:10

      Never "our game for the taking", SA does not have any power hitters in the middle order and a fairly limited attack although Tsotsobe is doing better than I thought he would, this handicap means a real struggle against any WC side which, although young, Aussie are still one of the best in the World.

  • shadesofdeeppurple - 2011-10-29 19:54

    when gary kirsten took over india..there were no immediate results, in fact we did loose a couple of series and the T20 world cup...but then slowly and surely he did change things around and the results then started to trickle in...I guess its the same with this a few years SA would be at the pinnacle but that's not going to come overnight

  • rheinhardt.peens - 2011-10-31 13:10

    I dont give a sh*it.. got my tickets for Wanderers and will keep supporting them regardless.... Its called passion some of you people need some....Once a protea... always a protea.... Kirsten for president!!!!!!!

  • Sabiha - 2011-10-31 14:12

    Sorry but kallis only plays for his own stats to better Tendulkar Pointing records, Amla lacks the urgency to be a dedicated captain for his country, steyn is not bowling his best , Gary got some work to do with all the players , he should stop being kind to the players push amd make them work harder.Good Luck. 4ever proteas

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