South Africa’s Faf du Plessis
South Africa’s Faf du Plessis walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal for 62 runs during the group stage match against Bangladesh at The Oval on Sunday. Image Credit: AFP

Southampton: South Africa captain Faf du Plessis is a shattered man after consecutive defeats to England and Bangladesh. The first defeat wasn’t as shocking since the hosts are a strong team, but the second loss was unexpected.

Now they take on a strong India team at Southampton, and a defeat here can make things difficult for their progress in the tournament and their race for the World Cup.

“I am extremely disappointed,” said Du Plessis. “I’m gutted to say the least. At this moment none of the formats of our game are firing. To blame it on bad luck is not an option for me.”

Du Plessis was ready to admit that, including himself, his team hasn’t performed. “We looked good with the bat,” he said. “We did some good things. But myself included, we need to go through and score hundreds. That’s what is going to win us matches, not 30s and 40s.”

No captain has been so blunt after a defeat like him. “We weren’t at our best, and the opening bowlers would be the first to put their hands up to say they didn’t execute on their skills enough and that went right through the innings,” he added.

“I thought there were many loose shots, especially on the cutting side. We gave away a lot of width. It’s just that at this moment we’re off in all facets of the game, and that’s just not good enough.”

Du Plessis was very candid when asked if this was the worst start for South Africa in a World Cup, and whether he fancied any chance of winning the tournament. “I have to believe that. I won’t be South African if I said no. But I will go back and do my best to lift the spirits in the team. We’re playing a strong team in India in their first game, and our third game. As a team we know we’re not good enough at the moment, and we have to turn it around.”

The South African also admitted that injuries to Hashim Amla, Lungi Ngidi and Dale Steyn had hit the team, but at the same time he does not believe in excuses. “I can’t complain about that because that’s not going to change anything,” he said. “I have to find a way. The coaching staff, the team, we all need to find a way. It’s not going for us from an injuries point of view.”