‘Harsh words’ in store for South Africa flops, warns Du Plessis

Faf du Plessis warned his South Africa flops to expect “harsh words” as the skipper fights to save his country’s spluttering World Cup challenge.

Du Plessis’ side are already in danger of blowing their World Cup bid after two defeats in the first four days of the tournament left their campaign in turmoil.

Thrashed by 104 runs against hosts England on Thursday, South Africa struggled again when they returned to the Oval to face Bangladesh on Sunday.

After Bangladesh posted their highest one-day international score of 330-6, South Africa’s attempt to become the first team in World Cup history to successfully chase a total that high fell 21 runs short.

It was a bitter defeat for Du Plessis, who took his share of the blame when he admitted he was wrong to put Bangladesh into bat after winning the toss.

With seven games remaining, South Africa can’t afford more slips if they are to make the semi-finals from the 10-team group.

They face title contenders India on Wednesday knowing a victory is essential and Du Plessis promised he would get tough in a bid to spark his side.

“My style of captaincy has always been that there’s a line and if you don’t perform to that line there will be a lot of harsh words,” he said.

“There’s a time for strictness, and when you see that a dressing room needs you to be strong and to motivate them. But today was not good enough.

“If guys think they can make excuses for performances like today then they will be challenged – that’s a fact. All I can say is that we’ll keep fighting.

“I’m extremely disappointed, and gutted to say that all formats of our game at the moment are just not firing.

“To blame bad luck is not just an option for me. You still have to find a way to put in performances and we’re just off in some areas.”

Adding to South Africa’s woes, Lungi Ngidi sustained a hamstring strain against Bangladesh that will rule him out for up to 10 days.

Du Plessis hopes to have key batsman Hashim Amla fit to face India in Southampton after he missed the Bangladesh game following a head injury against England.

However, pace bowler Dale Steyn remains a major doubt with a shoulder injury that has kept him out of the first two matches.

‘Not good enough’

Du Plessis top scored for South Africa with 62, but conceded his team were undermined by sloppy bowling and careless batting.

“Our plan in both the England game and this game was that we make sure we target them with aggressive bowling, but we weren’t at our best,” he said.

“The opening bowlers would be the first to say we didn’t execute our skills today.

“We’re just off in all facets and it’s not good enough.

“With the bat once again we looked good, did some good things, but myself included, you need to go through and score hundreds, that’s what wins you matches, not 30s and 40s.”

Du Plessis insisted South Africa have not lost their identity, but with their hopes of winning the World Cup for the first time already fading, he knows they need an immediate response to the crisis.

“Plan A’s gone. Now we have to look at all our options, reshuffling all our cards and seeing what we can do with it,” he said.

“I have to believe we can still win the tournament. I wouldn’t be South African if I said no to that.

“We know we’re not good enough at the moment. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with identity. At the moment it’s a skill thing.

“Every single player in our dressing room is not playing to their full potential.

“It’s just about making sure you look at yourself in the mirror and see how you can find that answer.”

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Steven Griffiths 1
Guest Author

Related stories

How US foreign policy under Donald Trump has affected Africa

Lesotho has been used as a microcosm in this article to reflect how the foreign policy has affected Africa

Is solar power the answer to Southern Africa’s energy crisis?

Africa’s favourable weather conditions means solar energy uptake could be accelerated with a few nudges in the right direction

Where do Africans study abroad?

China is becoming the preferred destination for countries such as Ghana and Nigeria

Khaya Sithole: Lessons to be learned from partitions

South Africa’s economic, racial and social divides invite unrest that will leave us all worse off

Extract: Trying to grasp something unfathomable

In ‘A Map to the Door of No Return’ Dionne Brand reads VS Naipaul as a sorrowfully spiteful narrator, full of the despair of exile

It’s just not cricket

Near Makhanda in the Eastern Cape in the village of Salem is a cricket pitch that is said to be the oldest in the country. Watered by blood and trauma, rolled with frontier nostalgia and contemporary paranoia, how does it play?

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Finance probe into the Ingonyama Trust Board goes ahead

The threat of legal action from ITB chairperson Jerome Ngwenya fails to halt forensic audit ordered by the land reform minister

Ailing Far East Rand hospital purchases ‘vanity’ furniture

Dr Zacharia Mathaba, who purchased the furniture, is a suspected overtime fraudster and was appointed as Gauteng hospital chief executive despite facing serious disciplinary charges

Eusebius McKaiser: Reject the dichotomy of political horrors

Senekal shows us that we must make a stand against the loud voice of the populist EFF and racist rightwingers

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday