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Proteas stressing over automatic World Cup qualification

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Temba Bavuma, captain of South Africa during the 2022 2nd Betway ODI match against Bangladesh at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on March 20. Picture: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

In addition to the nine-wicket thrashing in the decider against Bangladesh, the Proteas are now in deep trouble and stuck in ninth place on the ICC Super League log – just outside the top eight automatic World Cup spots.

PROTEAS coach Mark Boucher admits that the alarm bells are ringing in his camp after their humiliating 2-1 ODI series defeat to Bangladesh at Centurion Park on Wednesday.

In addition to the nine-wicket thrashing in the decider, Boucher’s boys are now in deep trouble and stuck in ninth place on the ICC Super League log – just outside the top eight automatic World Cup spots.

South Africa lost series’ to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and now Bangladesh, while defeat in the second ODI to Ireland, further damaged their standing.

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Boucher, whose team still has to face England, India and Australia, while the two matches against the Netherlands also need to be completed, says: “The alarm bells are there. The one positive is that I really do believe that if we rock up, we stick to our game plans and arrive with confidence we can beat anyone in the world … We have beaten them before and we will have to beat them again to qualify.

“We are putting ourselves under pressure, but I suppose we’ve got to come to the party.”

Coming to the party is the problem, as Boucher admits his team is scared.

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With his batsmen struggling against Bangladesh’s spinners, he says: “There seems to be a little bit of a block and a bit of fear or getting out rather than understanding the game is about runs.

“The Bangladesh spinners bowled really slowly so it was hard to run down and hit the ball over the top. We have the skillset to do it. The belief set was not there in that it’s the right way to play against that type of bowling.

“Maybe the fear of failure was thinking we are going to get out to it when it is actually the right way to play …”

SA now turn their attention to the five-day game where they’ll face Bangladesh in the first of two Tests at Kingsmead next week.

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