By: Bongani Dlamini
South African captain Temba Bavuma believes that stage fright was not the reason after they lost to Australia by 5 wickets in their opening T20 World Cup game played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
The Proteas had a couple of series successes heading to the tournament, but they could not replicate that form in the first game, but Bavuma insists it was execution gone wrong rather than stage fright with Australia limiting them to 118 runs.
“I wouldn’t say so to be honest. I think the guys have prepared quite well. You know, terms of the games, terms of trying to deal with all those mental pressures, I think — I can’t remember a time where our batting has collapsed like that in the last while, so I’ll put it down to that. It’s not every day where your top seven, all of them fail.
“I wouldn’t put it to the occasion (being too big) to the inside tee. I think it was more an execution thing. And we’ll be looking to correct our roles as batters,” added Bavuma.
The defeat will only add more pressure on the Proteas and the skipper believes that from a batting perspective, they will have to do better going forward.
“I think from a batting point of view, like I’ve said, that wasn’t according to plan from the batters. So we’ve got a lot there that we need to improve. 118 is nothing to cry home about.
“From a bowling point of view — I think the bowlers did quite well to get it up to that point. I think probably from the end, it did get a little bit frantic, so I think maybe that’s a talking point for us as a team. Fielding was good barring probably one or two incidents.
“I think you know, going into the next game, which I think is on the 26th against the West Indies, we are obviously looking to improve and add a couple of percentages in our batting, bowling, as well as our fielding.”
The last time the Proteas faced West Indies in the limited overs format they recorded a 3-2 series win and they will be hoping for a positive result on Tuesday.
Experience ball-by-ball commentary when South Africa take on West Indies on Tuesday 26 October at 12:00 live on Radio 2000, RSG, Umhlobo Wenene & SABC Sport Social Media pages.