Castle Lager Proteas all-rounder, JP Duminy, says the batsmen have to take more responsibility during the pressure situations following their 29-run (DL Method) loss to Pakistan in Auckland on Saturday.
Duminy, one of the senior players in the team, says the loss was a reality-check, and believes the true character of the team will be determined by the way they respond in the rest of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
“The hunger probably wasn’t there from a batting perspective,” he said in Wellington, where they will play their Group B match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday.
“Nobody, but AB (De Villiers), took the responsibility to take the team through. Guys got in but never carried the team through; I am one of the culprits. I felt like I was in but I threw my wicket away.”
Duminy’s words are more of an echo to what captain AB de Villiers said on Saturday after the loss to Pakistan.
A visibly disappointed de Villiers told the media, “It’s a disappointing loss. We didn’t get enough partnerships during the pressure situations. We have done it in the past but unfortunately tonight we couldn’t do that.”
Duminy acknowledged the Proteas’ poor record batting second, but highlighted the fact that it was an area that received a lot of attention during preparation and analysis.
“We haven’t been good enough,” he admitted.
“In the last couple of meetings that we have had regarding chasing we have hit the nail on the head in terms of where we have gone wrong. One of the main points is that we have good KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and strategies in place for when we bat first.
“We set up the game for the backend with wickets in hand and guys scoring hundreds. I don’t think we need to differ too much from those plans (when chasing), and we have identified that.
“Unfortunately every time we have batted second we haven’t stuck to those plans.”
He says the batsmen’s lack of fight on Saturday was disappointing, but that the final match against the UAE will be a good opportunity to ‘get a few things right’ ahead of the knock-out matches.
“That is the added pressure to it,” he said of scoreboard-pressure.
“Along with knowing that it’s a World Cup stage, it doesn’t matter who you are or what player you are, those pressures are always going to be there.
“The mental shift is needed; we have a bit of time to accept it and to take it all in. We need to accept the fact that we haven’t been good enough, that is the way forward for us.”