World Cup 2019: What are some of the biggest flaws in South Africa's team?
South Africa was billed to be a side who could have put in a real challenge for the prestigious World Cup 2019 but on the basis of losses in their first two games, South Africa looks far from comfortable. Trounced by a mammoth 104-run margin against England in their opening match, things took a further spiral downwards after they went on to lose to Bangladesh by 21 runs in their second game.
Thus far, South Africa's campaign has drawn massive flak from their supporters, with the side catapulting in horrid fashion. Be it on the batting or bowling front, nothing has clicked so far for them with the team failing to stitch together a top performance and are currently languishing at the bottom of the points table.
So what really has gone wrong for the side to find themselves in such tepid touch? Here is an insight into their faltering form and a couple of areas which they fill have to address prior to a crucial encounter against India on 5th June at Old Trafford.
#1 Lacklustre Body Language
The one thing which was the biggest takeaway from South Africa’s poor show against Bangladesh was the way the fielders let down the bowlers with some shoddy fielding.
Taken apart by the middle order, the South African bowlers refused to put on a fight, depended on the short-pitched bowling to make an impact as they repeatedly hit the wrong areas and were punished.
South Africa's batting also lacked solidity as the lower middle order crumbled under the pressure and failed to get the team across the line yet again.
#2 Inability to cope with injuries
Out of their opening fixtures owing to an injury, the absence of Dale Steyn proved way more costly than anticipated for South Africa. While Kagiso Rabada was good against England, he followed that up with a dismal showing against Bangladesh, coming under extreme fire especially in the death overs.
He went wicketless and with fellow pacer Lungi Ngidi getting injured midway, Morris failed to step up to the plate either, conceding 29 runs from his last two overs as South Africa were left lamenting about their inneffectiveness in the death overs.
#3 Inconsistent middle order
Barring Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, the rest of South Africa’s batting order has completely failed to shoulder the bulk of the scoring. Chasing 312 against England, South Africa went from 129-2 to being bundled out for 207.
What is a bigger cause of concern for the side is that South Africa boasts of the likes of Aiden Markram, JP Duminy, Rassie Van Der Dussen and David Miller, a batting unit at their disposal which wears a cloak of strength but has failed to live up to potential.
While the middle order did endure a good start against Bangladesh, the batsmen failed to convert their starts into big scores that saw South Africa lose the plot in the end.
#4 No back-up spinner for Tahir
Imran Tahir has picked up four wickets in two matches, coming up with good spells of 2-61 and 2-57 against England and Bangladesh respectively but the lack of a competent spinning partner for the leg-spinner has cost South Africa.
They’ve been left flummoxed by who to pair him up with, deploying Duminy and even Markram in the middle part of the innings. The duo bowled six overs between them against Bangladesh, giving away 48 runs and returning wicketless, failing to apply pressure on the batsmen. If the duo fail to make an impact against India, it could come to hit them hard.
Also read - World cup cricket hat trick