No Panic As South Africans Chase Improvement

AB de Villiers says he will not panic as South Africa look to get back into the series
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa captain AB de Villiers says he is not going to panic following his side's crushing 180-run defeat to Sri Lanka but knows that a huge improvement is needed.

On the back of Kumar Sangakkara's sublime unbeaten 169, Sri Lanka charged to a massive win to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.

However, de Villiers remains confident that the series is still within South Africa's grasp and backs his side to bounce back in Tuesday's second match.

"I’m not going to panic,” de Villiers said "I still believe that the series is wide open, I know how dangerous my team can be if we play well and do the basics well.

"I’m disappointed with the way we played but I truly believe that we are going to bounce back in the next game."

There was little to cheer for the Proteas, who leaked 137 runs in the final 11 overs as Sri Lanka racked up 320 for five, and then lost wickets frequently during their run chase.

"We lost wickets early on which was a problem," he sde Villiers added. "We had too many big shots going for boundaries instead of working the ball around.

"We never had a pace and a pattern of play with the bat in hand which was a big problem, there were no partnerships and we kept losing wickets at the wrong time.

"I can talk about all of the things that went wrong for hours, but I would like for us to put that aside and try to learn from it what we can, but more importantly try and make it one all in the next game."

De Villiers surprised some by bowling first after winning the toss in conditions that looked good for batting, but he revealed that there were sound reasons for his decision.

"I still think it was the right decision," he said. "We didn’t bowl and bat as well as we could, I think if we had wickets in the end and batted out 50 overs, it would have been a close game.”

"We looked at the past stats. Eight out of 10 games have been won by the team chasing, and we when I looked at the wicket this afternoon I realised that it wouldn’t change much over 100 overs.

At night, with the dew and having cool conditions to bat in I thought it would be a good chance for us to chase the runs down, but 320 was too much and we were under pressure from the word go."

© Cricket World 2013

Fixtures & Results

20th July: 1st ODI, Colombo
SRI 320-5 beat RSA 140 by 180 runs
23rd July: 2nd ODI, Colombo
SRI 223-9 beat RSA 104-5 by 17 runs (D/L)
26th July: 3rd ODI, Pallekele
RSA 223-7 beat SRI 167 by 56 runs
28th July: 4th ODI, Pallekele
SRI 239-2 beat RSA 238 by 8 wickets
31st July: 5th ODI, Colombo
SRI 307-4 beat RSA 179 by 128 runs
2nd August: 1st T20I, Colombo
RSA 115-6 beat SRI 103-9 by 12 runs
4th August: 2nd T20I, Hambantota
RSA 145-6 beat SRI 123-7 by 22 runs
6th August: 3rd T20I, Hambantota
SRI 164-4 beat RSA 163-3 by 6 wickets