Coach Gibson surprised by lack of yorkers from Proteas

Chris Morris (Getty)
Chris Morris (Getty)

London - Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has questioned his side's death bowling decisions to Bangladesh during Sunday's World Cup clash at The Oval. 

South Africa were rocked, going down by 21 runs on the day to be 0 from 2 at the tournament with their semi-final hopes already in serious doubt. 

Having won the toss, Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis opted to field first in a decision that has since been slammed by South Africa cricket fans back home. 

The Proteas bowlers conceded 330/6, which was the highest score Bangladesh have ever carded in an ODI. 

It didn't help that Lungi Ngidi left the field after just four overs with a hamstring strain, but quicks Kagiso Rabada (0/57 in 10) and Chris Morris (2/72 in 10) did not have the impact that Gibson would have liked to see. 

There was a clear plan to dig it in short, but the Bangladesh batsmen were more than comfortable for the most part as they set about securing their second World Cup win over South Africa following on from 2007's success in Guyana. 

Perhaps the most alarming statistic for South Africa was that they shipped a staggering 54 runs in their final four overs. 

Morris bowled two of those, going for 29 runs, and speaking after the match Gibson said he was surprised at the lengths that the 32-year-old allrounder bowled. 

"You look at Morris and ask yourself what his super strength is, and you would say he is a very good yorker bowler and the same with KG (Rabada)," Gibson told media at The Oval.

"The way the field was set, they had three options: they could bowl short, they could bowl slower balls into length, or they could bowl yorkers and then it becomes which one you choose as a bowler.

"We haven't yet worked out why they didn't go to yorkers, but I was expecting to see a few more because that's something that we discuss."

Gibson denied that his bowlers lacked the confidence in their own ability to try and execute blockhole deliveries at the death. 

"It's not confidence because we practice them every day. We practice all the things that we might need in the game at the back-end and yorkers are one of the things that we practice a hell of a lot," he said.

"If my best strength is a yorker, then I'm going to bowl a yorker. If my best strength is a slower ball, then that's what I'm going to go to.

"I said to Morry (Morris) today when he came off that if anybody asked me about him, I would say that he was one of the best yorker bowlers in the country," he said.

"Therefore, I would have liked to have seen him bowl more yorkers.

"It's just the way it is. We need to think. In World Cup cricket, under pressure, can I keep a clear mind and execute what it is we're thinking about.

"That's where we are at the moment."

The Proteas do not have a lot of time to turn things around. A clash against India awaits on Wednesday and they will go into that crucial contest without the services of Ngidi (hamstring) while Dale Steyn is also a doubt with a shoulder injury.

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...

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