Andrew Hudson, the former national cricket selection convener, believes there was nothing wrong with the team the Proteas selected for the Cricket World Cup, saying instead that they lacked the ability to play boldly in England.
South Africa officially crashed out of the 2019 global spectacle on Sunday when they meekly surrendered to Pakistan, although their fate had been more or less sealed with a loss to New Zealand last Wednesday.
Ottis Gibson’s side have just not pitched up at the World Cup, playing a brand of cricket that has lacked intensity and confidence.
They seem way behind their rivals and Hudson says courageous cricket was needed.
South Africa’s 49-run loss to Pakistan yesterday was their fifth defeat in seven matches at the Cricket World Cup.
Only minnows Afghanistan (6) have lost more games than the Proteas, who have also been beaten by England, Bangladesh, India and the Black Caps.
Hudson, a former opener for the national team, believes South Africa’s tough start to the competition did not help them, adding that out-of-form players and injuries to some of their key fast bowlers were some of the other reasons to blame for their poor performances.
South Africa had chosen injured duo Dale Steyn and Anrich Nortje as well as overworked Kagiso Rabada in the squad prior to the finals.
The former pair was both replaced after failing to recover, while Rabada has struggled to replicate the form that brought national pride for the last few years.
Amongst the batsmen, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy were also picked despite their own poor form, but Hudson still believes that the current selectors, headed by Linda Zondi, got their squad selection right for the tournament.
Duminy and spin bowler Imran Tahir have already confirmed that this World Cup will be their last, the latter still however, will be available for Twenty20 duty.
Others like Steyn and Amla also face big decisions over their futures, while captain Faf du Plessis is in the same boat – the skipper calling Sunday’s tournament exit the lowest point of his career.
Hudson says the selectors now have some big decisions to make in terms of planning for the next 50-over World Cup in India that takes place in 2023. – Report by Thahir Asmal