South Africa captain concedes defeat but promises to come out all guns blazing against India
AB de Villiers and his team-mates walk back after their second successive Super Eights loss.
AB de Villiers admitted that South Africa had been completely outplayed by Australia in a Group 2 Super Eights match in the ICC World Twenty20 2012, adding that the eight-wicket drubbing had left a “bad taste” in his mouth.
“We started badly and finished badly as well, so there is a bit of a bad taste in my mouth at the moment,” said de Villiers after his side slumped to its second straight defeat to all but play itself out of the tournament. “We didn’t bat well in the first six, lost too many wickets again. It was hard to get momentum from there on in. We tried really hard and got a little bit towards the end. Robbie (Peterson) played really well and Farhaan (Behardien) as well, I was very happy with that. I thought we had a chance with that total (146 for 5) and we started quite well.”
“We always knew we had to get the two openers out early on and we got close with (Shane) Watson, which was the game-breaker at the end of the day. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get him out,” said de Villiers. “We created a few opportunities, I thought we bowled pretty well to him but we couldn’t take those opportunities and a world-class player like that is going to take the game away from you if you don’t get him out. It was a disappointing night altogether. We have got a lot think about.”
As ever, South Africa’s propensity to under-perform in ICC events was under the microscope. “I wouldn’t say we choked tonight, we just were pretty much outplayed from ball one onwards,” said de Villiers. “We tried to come back in but just weren’t good enough. We were outplayed by a better team tonight. We know we will have to beat India convincingly on Tuesday. It’s not all over, we are not the kind of team that will give up quickly. We will come back and try and improve, we will have to improve.”
De Villiers refused to fault his bowlers, saying the bowling group had done its job. “I personally think our bowlers have good variations. We cover all bases with our bowling attack. We have got balance; we have got guys who can swing it, we have got good spin bowlers as well,” said de Villiers. “The opportunities we created tonight didn’t go to hand. We didn’t get them out. You’ve got to get wickets in T20 cricket if you want to win the game like they did early on. They got wickets on a regular basis and they put us under pressure. We couldn’t do that and if you don’t get a guy like Watson out early on, he is going to take the game away from you. It was tough but they outplayed us, no excuses. We didn’t play well enough tonight.”
“We have played really good cricket on these kind of wickets in the past, so it is really disappointing that we haven’t come through like we wanted to,” said de Villiers when asked if Australia had adapted to the conditions better than his team. “They definitely adapted quicker today. They won the toss and were on the button right from the start. They put us under pressure by taking wickets all the time. They adapted to the conditions better than us, that’s for sure. They executed really well. Their bowlers had clear plans, you could see that from a mile away and the execution was spot-on, they put us under pressure.”