By Lunga Kupiso
The South African National Cricket Team touched ground at OR Tambo International Airport on March 29 2016 to happy wives, children and relatives. The players themselves were happy to be back at home for what will seem like a small break for most who have IPL contracts for the very lucrative Indian Premier League Tournament set to begin on April 9.
The Proteas arrived back from another disappointing world tournament that has brought no silverware, even though this World T20 World Cup in India was far from the reach of the Protea men than the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup seemed to be in New Zealand & Australia. One thing was constant and that is the hope of the players and the supporters back at home, that perhaps this World T20 was the elusive trophy they have been long waiting for. “I say to the fans, we feel exactly the same way. I’m very disappointed. We went out there trying to win the tournament.” Du Plessis said
Two things perhaps that will be questioned for a while will be the selection of the team and Faf Du Plessis’ on field tactics. There was always questions looming around the selection of Dale Steyn who has been rocked by injuries of late and his match fitness but his invaluable experience could not be left behind, but when he was dropped after the opening match against the English; in what was a collective average team bowling showcase, it just became unclear what the skippers thoughts were.
Du Plessis continued to defend his pick of two all-rounders in the side, overlooking the option for a second spinner (Aaron Phangiso) even after the pace bowlers struggled to fire accurately. Imran Tahir would have thought at least the back end of the power play overs would have his name written over them but alas, his captain insisted on a pace attack “on Indian soil, where even average spinners can look world class”.
To win a world tournament, you need all eleven men to put in a collective effort and at this World T20 World Cup, it was the Proteas Batsman who did their job more often than not but the bowling unit did not click and were frequently misfiring. It remains a mystery, for now at least, on when it is that the Proteas will bag gold at a world event but it seems the curtain has been drawn for the likes of Steyn, De Villiers and Amla as it did for the class of Pollock, Boucher, Kallis and Smith; incredible talents but no gold to show for it.
The conversation continues on Sunday Night Sports this sunday. Catch the show LIVE on TransAfrica Radio from 20:00 – 23:00pm. Do tune in and share your views, as always. live on -> DSTV Audio 872 | TARadio.mobi | TransAfricaRadio.net