Loss to Pakistan ‘a learning curve’

2013-03-05 00:00

PROTEAS T20 captain Faf Du Plessis has said his side can learn from Pakistan after the humiliating 95-run loss at Centurion on Sunday.

Chasing 196, the Proteas succumbed for a meek 100, sending a clear indication of the work that needs to be done by Du Plessis and coach Russell Domingo ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next year.

There was nowhere to hide and Du Plessis was honest and realistic about his squad’s progress. He has urged his players to learn, improve and pick up on experience from playing strong teams.

Said Du Plessis: “This is a prime example. Pakistan were too good for us and we can learn from this by looking at how they approached and played the game. Their first eight overs were terrific. They applied the pressure to our bowlers and, with a start like that, the rest of the game is much easier. They played well and with a plan. Credit to them.”

Talk after the match centred on where the more established kingpins of South African cricket were. People have asked where were the likes of Dale Steyn, Morné Morkel and Hashim Amla. Pakistan’s team boast 376 caps between the players, while the Proteas mustered only 134 caps.

However, Du Plessis has continued to stand by what he has said all along. “Yes, experience in any team is good to have, but I have been saying that we are starting over with the T20 team, building the team with new players as we look toward the T20 World Cup.We have to try new players and new methods on the pitch and it won’t all click into place overnight.

“Why use these experienced players if they are not going to play in the World Cup next year? If that’s the case, then people will say we should have given other players a chance.

“That’s what we are doing now,” he said.

Du Plessis went on to say that the way Pakistan played on Sunday, they would have put any team in the world under pressure. “It’s a great learning curve for our young players and they can learn much from what went down, tough as it may be,” he said.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Proteas on a day when they were outclassed in most areas of the game. The decision taken earlier in the week to open the innings with AB de Villiers proved fruitful as he top scored with 36.

Said Du Plessis: “That was our only positive on the day. AB though can work anywhere he bats, such is his talent. He’s been a pillar of strength in the middle-order and we tried him up front as he has the skill to hurt bowling attacks.”

Focus now moves to the one-day 50-over matches, the first in Bloemfontein on Sunday, March 10.

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