Need to make good decisions: Kirsten
Colombo, Oct 1: South Africa are yet to open their account in the Super Eights and will be keen to register a win when they take on India later today. With the likes of Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in their line-up, Gary Kirsten’s wards were touted to be one of the best-equipped sides to make it to the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 final. However, the de Villiers-led team has not been able to live up to expectations.
Ahead of their last game in the Super Eights, coach Gary Kirsten assessed South Africa’s performance while speaking to the media.
Excerpts from Kirsten’s press conference:
On South Africa's performance so far in the series
We need to make good decisions. In both the games – against Pakistan and Australia – we were trying to win the games and then we let it slip. We haven’t played well enough in the key moments of the game. We had Pakistan at 76 for seven; we should’ve won that game. It has been disappointing. We had tough batting situations in which we lost three wickets very early, but in both those games we batted deep and well to get to a good competitive total. I thought in the second game, against Pakistan, 150 was a par score and we got 146. But it is a bit disappointing that we had opportunities to close a game out and we didn’t do that.
On whether his prior knowledge of the Indian team could be put to use in the upcoming game
There is enough information out there for every player to be analysed at length. There is enough on television, and there is the IPL. I don’t think we have something unique to offer these South African players; they play with these players a lot. The focus of our attention is not on them, it is on what we need to do in the next game.
On South Africa’s top three batsmen not being among runs in the Super Eights
If something doesn’t click in your team, it is a cause for concern. But you have to trust players, you got to back them and believe in them. We have enough skill in our batting line-up and we have seven batsmen on this tour. They have shown that they are capable of playing quality innings in big games and we’ve got to believe in them that they can do it. There is no reason why they can’t; they are all high quality players. They have produced runs in different situations around the world.
On whether they have problems dealing with left-arm spinners given that Raza Hasan and Xavier Doherty both bowled successfully against them
I wouldn’t say so. We are used to playing left-arm spinners. Just because we lost a few wickets, it doesn’t mean that. The first six overs have been tough to plan at the Premadasa Stadium with the odd one gripping. It is about really about understanding the conditions and decoding them.
On the in-form Virat Kohli
He is a great player and we have always known that. He is probably one of the standout batsmen in the world at the moment and we all know what he is capable of doing. He is one of those X factor cricketers that other teams want to get out because he is not going to get out himself. He doesn’t throw his wicket away. I am pleased for Virat. He has worked hard on his game and he is showing that he is one of the premier batsmen in the world at the moment.