Tired of explaining their long- standing jinx at ICC events, a desperate Hashim Amla today said South Africa will surely grab an ICC trophy soon and next year’s Champions Trophy could be that tournament.
Yet again South Africans have made an early exit from an ICC event, failing to qualify for the semifinals of the World Twenty20 after losing two of their three matches.
“We are asked this every ICC tournament. This team will win World Cup or an ICC tournament at some stage. We won in 1998 in England and it’s quite a while back,” Amla said when asked about their poor results in ICC events.
“It has been disappointing. We had opportunities we have not backed up batting and bowling to be in semis,” he added.
Amla said their batting and bowling never clicked in a game together and that hurt them badly.
“We have not played our best cricket throughout this tournament. We did not have a game where where our batting and bowling clicked at the same time. We were not consistent enough.”
Asked about the team combination and using Dale Steyn sparingly in the tournament, Amla backed captain Faf du Plessis and coach Russell Domingo’s decisions.
“Before coming to this tournament, the captain and coach talked about picking the right team according to the venue. In India, pitches have been vastly different. In Mumbai, there was smaller field, so quick bowlers come into the picture that’s why Dale played the first one against England but after that Nagpur was a slow wicket and slow seemed to be more effective.
“I can understand why captain and coach picked David Wiese because he has experience of playing on slow wickets. They have been consistent in picking right team for each venue,” he said.
Amla hinted that the seniors in their side will continue to play international cricket for some time.
“We have got a Champions Trophy next year. A lot of us are extremely keen to keep playing international cricket. Lot of us feel we have got few more years cricket left in us. If we can make a 50-over World Cup it will be ideal but we take it as it comes,” he said.
He also made it clear that there was nothing wrong in the team
“The whole rumour of AB retiring was a rumour only. There are no issues. Everybody is passionate. Hoping we have better performances at next ICC event.”
Amla said it was not ideal if his team’s fate in an event depends on results of other games and now they are looking forward to end their campaign with a bang.
“Last night we were all disappointed. Today we have come here since there a lot to play for in terms of pride. Nobody wants to leave the World Cup on a bad note. Leaving with 2 wins and 2 losses is better than losing 3 and winning 1. Sri Lanka is a good team. They kept their hopes alive and also ours yesterday,” he said.
Amla termed New Zealand as favourites to lift the trophy.
“New Zealand are looking a handy team. They have won 4 of 4, they are going to be favourites.