'KG' calls for bickering over Proteas batting collapse to stop ahead of West Indies clash
Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has said the bickering over the team’s batting collapse in the opening loss to Australia is not helping, but acknowledged it is an issue that is being addressed ahead of their second T20 World Cup match against champions West Indies in Dubai on Tuesday.
The Proteas lost three wickets for 29 runs in the opening six power-play overs in their defeat against the Aussies, slumped to 59/4 at the half way mark, were blown away for 118/9 and came short in their chase to lose by five wickets in Abu Dhabi.
“Coming to this press conference I kind of knew that you guys are going to ask me questions about our batting. We all see it as a concern, and the last thing we need is to keep bickering on and on about it,” the 26-year-old told the media from Dubai ahead of the clash against the West Indies.
“The worst thing you can do is to harp on and on about it, but it is definitely an area of concern and it is being addressed.”
The West Indies batting was even more atrocious as they were crushed by England in their opening match.
The West Indies lost four wickets for 31 runs in the power-play overs and the scoreline bordered on the ridiculous as they were reduced to 44/6 after 10 overs.
They added 11 more runs to be dismissed for an embarrassing 55 in 14.2 overs and England strolled to an easy chase to win by seven wickets with 70 balls to spare.
“The West Indies are going to be looking to come back really strong and so we can’t underestimate them. In fact, you can’t underestimate any team, especially at the World Cup.
“That game they had against England is behind and tomorrow is a new day.
“They are a dangerous team and we are going to have to be disciplined as we were in the first game. We cannot take anything for granted. They are an incredibly strong and powerful T20 team,” said Rabada.
The West Indies may have folded against England but they are defending champions, are packed with hard hitters and Rabada said the Proteas are expecting their opponents to come out like wounded tigers.
“It is just about having our strategy and tactics [right] and executing on that,” said Rabada, who has one wicket so far after he got the big scalp of Aussie captain Aaron Finch.
The Proteas are at their eighth World Cup tournament since readmission in 1992 but have never won the biggest prize in world cricket despite going to each event as odds-on favourites to at least reach the semifinals.
The horrors of their last World Cup, in England in 2019, are still fresh in the memory of South Africans.
Faf du Plessis’ side lost five of their eight completed matches at the tournament and were the first of the 10 competing teams to be eliminated from the running for a place in the semifinals.
Rabada and company will be hoping that the demons of England 2019 do not bedevil them in the United Arab Emirates.
“Anything can happen,” said Rabada. “This is a big platform and at the end of the day it is just another game of cricket, however, we need to rock up with intensity and I guess play close to our best.
“That is what we are here to do. We are here to win the World Cup, otherwise why would we be here?
“[The loss against Australia] was just one game in which we could not get over the line. Tomorrow is another day. Why be negative about it? Be positive and whatever happens, happens.”
The Proteas play Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Saturday and Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday in their next two matches before returning to Sharjah to conclude their pool stage against England on November 2.