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Phehlukwayo confident South Africa will come good

Andile Phehlukwayo celebrates with teammates
Andile Phehlukwayo celebrates with teammates
©Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

South Africa may have made an inauspicious start to their World Cup campaign but Andile Phehlukwayo is certain better times are just around the corner.

  • Proteas suffered second defeat of the tournament to Bangladesh on Sunday
  • They face India in Southampton on Wednesday

South Africa may have made an inauspicious start to their World Cup campaign but Andile Phehlukwayo is certain better times are just around the corner.

Beaten by favourites England in their tournament opener, the Proteas fell to a second successive defeat in the competition on Sunday, losing by 21 runs against Bangladesh at The Oval.
Among the pre-competition favourites, the barren start has ramped up the pressure on Faf du Plessis’ side, particularly with a clash against world No. 2 India up next.
But all-rounder Phehlukwayo, 23, is convinced minor tweaks can see the team belatedly get their bid for World Cup glory up and running.
“There have been some bad days in my career,” he said. “I’ve learned, and the team has learned, that it is not the end of the world.
“We can always bounce back, we are a team that bounces back, from situations and we will definitely do it again.
“We haven’t had a good start but this is a big tournament and anyone can beat anyone on any given day.
“If you are smart and clinical and you execute, you’ll win. We’ve been missing that but it’s coming.
“The coach has mentioned winning small battles, breaking partnerships and taking wickets. It’s not far away.”
Chasing a mammoth 331 after Bangladesh posted their highest ever ODI total, hopes of an unlikely Proteas victory were boosted thanks to skipper du Plessis’ half-century and composed knocks from middle-order pair Rassie van der Dussen and JP Duminy.
However, two quick wickets from Mohammad Saifuddin saw Bangladesh assume total control of the game heading into the death overs, with the Proteas ultimately falling 21 runs short in their response.
“It was one of those days,” Phehlukwayo added. “There were patches where we actually had the game and could have put them under pressure.
“Unfortunately, they managed to get a wicket after putting a lot of pressure on us.
“There are a lot of things you can look at: partnerships, not enough pressure put onto them when we were bowling, at the death there were lots of runs scored in the final overs.
“It was definitely a chaseable score though, we just need to learn from it and try and stay more composed.
With star bowler Dale Steyn on the sidelines and Lungi Ngidi struggling with injury, South Africa’s usually deadly pace attack has struggled to make its mark so far on the competition.
After picking up a problem in his left hamstring, Ngidi has already been ruled out of the clash with India, while Steyn, 35, remains touch and go himself despite bowling in the nets in London over the weekend.
In their expected absence, a new bowling blueprint may well have to come to the fore, with Phehlukwayo, a fast-medium, planning to use all of his variations in an attempt to turn things around.
“I try to keep it really basic; present the seam, one or two bouncers and change my pace. Hopefully I can learn from this game and take it into the next match,” he said.
“When you’re not extreme pace like the other guys, aren’t as tall and don’t get as much bounce, you need to come up with different tools that you can use in the game.
“If you’re a 130kph bowler as opposed to a 145kph bowler, it makes a massive difference. Changing up your pace is something you need to be really good at and execution too.
“When you look at it, people like the ball coming onto the bat now. It’s important to have something different in the team, some variations.
“I try to keep the batter guessing and on his toes – that’s how I get my advantage.”


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