Cape Town - New Zealand's series-levelling 32-run win in the second T20 international at SuperSport Park on Sunday has set up an enticing match-up for the three-match One Day International (ODI) series starting at the same venue on Wednesday.
Proteas captain AB de Villiers rued the soft dismissals which played a part in his team’s disappointing loss and says they were “dominated for 40 overs” in Sunday’s match.
“I think all round it was a poor day for us,” De Villiers said after the match.
“We struggled to get momentum on our side, even though it’s a shorter version of the game, the momentum tends to shift in various directions throughout the game but it stayed on their side throughout the game. They dominated for 40 overs which doesn’t happen a lot. The scoreboard says we only lost by a few runs but maybe a partnership or two at the end would have gotten us close but I felt that we were below par with bat and ball, that is quite disappointing.”
The late-winter scheduling of the series brought good crowds in Durban and Centurion, and De Villiers believes the timing will be a good test of the Proteas’ adaption to situations if the calendar remains the same.
“It’s a little bit early to be playing cricket in South Africa but once again it’s a challenge to test ourselves and the way we can adapt in games like this,” he said.
“We need to see how we think on our feet and whether we are smart enough as a cricket team to turn games around to win them. We aren’t there yet and we will have to figure that out in the ODI’s.”
Despite being the stand-in captain, De Villiers was satisfied with the progress of the T20 squad ahead of an important season, particularly the performances from some of the upcoming players including Kagiso Rabada, David Wiese and Rilee Rossouw. Rabada showed resolve to come back after an expensive opening spell in both matches, and continues to impress during his run at international level.
“The bulk of the guys in this series and in the last series in Bangladesh played well,” he said.
“There is a lot to look forward to and lots of positives to take. The way KG (Rabada) came back, not only today but in the previous game as well, speaks volumes of his character as a player. Moving forward he has a bright future, which he knows, but there is still a lot of hard work around the corner for him. He has the backing of the side, especially the senior players and the management, I’m excited to see him grow into a great player one day.”
Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir and Vernon Philander have joined the ODI squad which will hold its first training session at the Wanderers on Monday morning. The first match of the ODI series takes place at SuperSport Park on Wednesday at 12:30.