South Africa target Ageas Bowl Cricket World Cup turnaround as they prepare for crunch clash with India
South Africa head for the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday knowing they need to cause a major upset against India if they are to get their World Cup campaign back on track.
Soundly beaten by favourites England in the tournament opener, the Proteas’ disappointing start to the World Cup continued on Sunday as they slumped to a 21-run defeat against Bangladesh at The Oval.
Shorn of star bowler Dale Steyn, South Africa saw their usually potent bowling attack blunted by a fine batting display from the Tigers.
With Steyn still touch-and-go for Wednesday’s match with India and Lungi Ngidi picking up a hamstring strain, injuries could well force a change in approach.
Captain Faf du Plessis said: ‘Our plan was to try in both the England game and this game, try to make sure that we target them with aggressive bowling.
‘Plan A is gone because Plan A was those main bowlers playing together.
‘They haven’t played a game together on this tour.
‘Initially, Plan B was Anrich Nortje as an extra pace bowler that we had lined up for if we had an injury, to have another X-factor bowler that can bowl 145km-per-hour-plus. He got injured, as well.
‘If Anrich was here, you could say, “listen Dale, it's getting to that time now where you need to play or we need to substitute you.”
‘But now we have got two or three down.
‘So now you’re moving into your all-rounder territory.
‘You have two medium pace all-rounders and then you have Chris Morris that sits in between your fast bowlers and your medium pace bowlers.
‘So now we have to really look at what we can do to try to be effective.
‘Is it playing all-rounders together, do we play two spinners?
‘Now it’s reshuffling all our cards and see how best we can deal with it.’
Facing Virat Kohli’s fancied side is a daunting prospect for any team, but Du Plessis insists he will not stop believing that South Africa can turn things around.
He added: ‘I have to believe that. I wouldn't be South African if I said no.
‘Every single player in our dressing room is not playing to their full potential, and that’s why we’re not putting the performances in.
‘As soon as that starts happening, then those things will change.
‘We’re playing a strong team in India, and as a team, we know we’re not good enough at the moment and we have to turn it around.’