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South Africa need a Plan B

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“And then, under those extreme moments of pressure, they haven’t really got a back-up plan or a Plan B.”

The Proteas have experienced the worst kind of nightmares at ICC tournaments over the years, and Steve Waugh feels that part of the reason for it is that they have been “too regimented and too one-dimensional”.

The former Australian captain, speaking in Berlin ahead of the Laureus Sports Awards today, told Independent Media that luck has played a part in his country’s success at major events, and that things will change for South Africa once they make that breakthrough.

Coach Mark Boucher will hope that the Proteas experience such joy at the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, although he will be smarting from the 2-1 series defeat to England following South Africa’s five-wicket loss at Centurion yesterday. Australia begin their preparations in South Africa today for three T20 internationals and three ODIs against the Proteas, but often get over the line in ICC tournaments.

Waugh – who is also a Laureus Academy member – embodied that mental toughness throughout his career, and said that the key is to have a number of solutions when you are in trouble on the field.

“Look, it’s a little bit of luck obviously. I just think back to 1999 and they said South Africa choked But we choked as well – it’s just that they choked at the wrong time,” said the 54-year-old, who led Australia to the 1999 World Cup title. We choked the over before and it didn’t matter as much, so look, there is a bit of luck about it. I think maybe the only way I can sum it up is that maybe South Africa wanted it too much. And they are a bit too regimented and too one-dimensional.

“And then, under those extreme moments of pressure, they haven’t really got a back-up plan or a Plan B.”