I can’t do it alone – AB de Villiers

2015-03-08 15:00

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Proteas skipper fumes after his team’s batting collapse in their World Cup clash against Pakistan

“I can’t win the World Cup alone.”

These were the words of frustration uttered by an angry AB de Villiers to his team-mates yesterday after the Proteas’ second shock defeat in less than a fortnight on the world’s cricketing stage.

The South Africans were defeated by 29 runs (through the Duckworth-Lewis method) at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, by a struggling Pakistan. This, after they lost by 130 runs to India last week at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

De Villiers’ brave innings of 77 runs was in vain in the end when his team were skittled out for 202 runs in 33 overs.

“I hate to lose and, at the moment, I have nothing good to say about the team. I may have scored a few runs, but I am very disappointed in myself,” he said.

“I should have won the game for us. I’ve done it in the past, but I could not get us a win tonight.”

The captain was especially critical of his team’s lacklustre performance with the bat.

“The warning lights were flickering even before the match because the players showed no energy. Pakistan were hungrier than us for a win and that’s unacceptable because no one should have to motivate you to play for your country,” said De Villiers.

“However, it remains my responsibility to get the players going and I failed. So in that regard I must probably take responsibility for the defeat.”

The game was the second in this year’s World Cup in which the Proteas batted second – and lost.

It’s also the fourth time in five World Cup matches that De Villiers and the team could not reach a winning target.

“I wish I had the answer as to why we struggle when we bat second, but I don’t. I still believe there is nothing wrong with the team and that we can certainly chase any total,” he said.

“Tonight, it was more about a lack of urgency.”

With 318 runs in just five games, De Villiers is now the leading batsman in the competition.

Yesterday, he also had to play the role of the fifth bowler after JP Duminy conceded 34 runs in just three overs.

De Villiers sent down six overs and picked up the vital wicket of Younis Khan.

“Look, I don’t feel that too much is being expected of me and I still have full confidence in my team-mates. I am surrounded by quality players, but I can’t win the World Cup by myself. I need everyone’s help.

“We’re a much better team than we appeared to be here. The senior players must now take the lead and the younger players must definitely lift the level of their game.”

De Villiers said the team must recover their confidence before the quarterfinal stage.

The Proteas take on the United Arab Emirates in Wellington, New Zealand, on Thursday in their last group match and a win will be enough to put the team in second place in Pool B.

“We must start setting things right because this loss undermined our confidence,” said De Villiers.

“We will have to face up to each other and be honest about where we are heading in this tournament.

“Perhaps we are just not as good as we think we are,” he said.

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