Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada insisted on Monday that the “bickering” has to stop as the South Africans look to bounce back from a dreadful start to the T20 World Cup.
They slumped to a five-wicket loss to Australia in their Super 12 opener on Saturday after making just 118 in their 20 overs.
The only crumb of comfort was that Tuesday’s opponents, defending champions West Indies, were even worse.
They were bowled out for a dismal 55 by England and were beaten by six wickets.
“We see (the batting) as a concern. The last thing we need to do is keep bickering on and on about it,” said Rabada, whose 19 not out against Australia was his team’s second-highest behind Aiden Markram’s 40.
That was despite Rabada coming in at number nine. One of the main talking points was the bizarre dismissal of Quinton de Kock.
The opener was bowled by Josh Hazlewood but only after the ball bounced off him, looped up and then down onto the stumps as the left-hander watched helplessly.
De Kock was one of his team’s first three wickets to fall with the score on just 23. It was a disappointing exit for the 28-year-old who had scored five half-centuries in his last eight innings in the format.
“Quinton is a top-quality player, and I guess it just didn’t come off,” said Rabada. “That’s just how cricket goes. The batters know what they have to do.
“We know what we have to do as a team. No one is blaming anyone. But the worst thing you can do is just harp on and on and on about it.
“Quinton is a massive player for us. He’s done extremely well for South Africa ever since he started playing.
“He’s a world-class player, and he needs just to go in and do his thing,” Rabada added.
Terrible start for West Indies
Meanwhile, West Indies players must find a way to enjoy their cricket to get their mood back after a terrible start to their Twenty20 World Cup title defence against England, assistant coach Rod Estwick said on Monday.
The Caribbean side, who won the last edition of the tournament in 2016, folded inside 15 overs before Eoin Morgan’s men romped to a win inside nine overs.
“One bad game doesn’t make a summer,” Estwick told reporters. “We realise we had a bad game. We’ve had a chat about it. The players had some volleyball yesterday to help them to relax, to try to build some team spirit,” said Estwick.
“You’ve got to back the players. Our job is to get the players up, make sure they remain confident, make sure they still believe in their ability.
“Make sure the dressing room is still a happy place and let them go enjoy the game of cricket, because that’s why they started playing.”
A side replete with the most prolific cricketers in the shortest format and players who ply their trade across the world in various domestic T20 leagues, West Indies also have teams like Sri Lanka, Australia and Bangladesh in their group.
The SA-West Indies clash starts at 12 pm today, while Pakistan face New Zealand at 4 pm.
On Monday, Afghanistan beat Scotland by 130 runs. Afghanistan made 190/4 in their 20 overs and the Scots were all out for 60 runs in 10.2 overs.