5 things that went wrong for Proteas

Faf du Plessis (Getty)
Faf du Plessis (Getty)

Cape Town - There is nothing that can be done about it now, but the hard truth is that the Proteas have gone through another ICC World Cup tournament and failed to deliver. 

As captain Faf du Plessis said after his side's participation came to an end, T20 cricket is a bit of a lottery, and that does make this latest failure a little more tolerable than the seven that have come on the 50-over stage since 1992.

But despite the unpredictable nature of the format, there are still a few identifiable areas where it all went wrong for South Africa in India this time around.

1. Root and England stun Proteas

It's not hard to see the damage that was done to South Africa's chances early on in the competition. Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy had lit up the tournament by helping the Proteas post 229/4 in their opener, but what followed was a run-chase of epic proportions. Joe Root and England absolutely destroyed the Proteas bowling attack, and in the end England got home rather comfortably. It was a match that took the Proteas to the highest of highs before dumping them down to the lowest of lows ... a familiar story at major international events for South Africa.

2. Where was Dale Steyn?

The fuss that was made about Dale Steyn in the build-up to the tournament suggested that he was going to be South Africa's go-to-guy in India. But after just two expensive overs (0/35) against England he found himself sidelined until the dead-rubber against Sri Lanka. The second match against Afghanistan would have been a great opportunity for Steyn to find some form, while his experience could have come in handy in the final overs against the West Indies in match number three. Instead, 20-year-old Kagiso Rabada bowled the final over in that match. While Rabada's form over the last six months completely justifies that decision, Steyn's omission from the business end of the tournament raises questions over his inclusion in the first place. If he was not at his best, then why was he there?

3. The West Indies collapse

The wicket at Nagpur was always going to be more challenging to bat on, but South Africa stumbling to 122/8 was inexcusable. The confusion between Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla up front got the ball rolling, but then one of Faf du Plessis or AB de Villiers needed to deliver. De Villiers' dismissal, in particular, hurt. In a desperate situation, South Africa needed somebody to stand up and be counted. We all wanted it to be De Villiers ... but it was not to be.

4. Too many extras

When you're defending 122 and your tournament future depends on it, extras are a sin. Against the West Indies, South Africa bowled eight wides. And if that stat looks bad, then the 20 wides (that is including the wide deliveries that went for more than one) they bowled against England is simply criminal. Being more disciplined in only that department in both of those matches could have meant a very different tournament for South Africa. In total, the Proteas bowled 53 extras in their four matches.

5. Duminy injury

South Africa had been waiting so long for JP Duminy to find some form, and he looked to be coming good at the perfect time. His injury against Afghanistan ruled him out of the 'do-or-die' Windies clash in Nagpur, where his batting could have proved crucial. The Proteas could also only get eight overs of spin out of their attack in that match and Duminy would have provided another option there.

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