After the victory against England, which did not help South Africa to claim the semi-final spot, head coach Mark Boucher has stated that getting knocked out of the tournament is a tough pill to swallow. South Africa finished third in Group 1 behind Australia, after winning four out of five matches.
Despite a brilliant performance throughout the tournament at the Super 12 stage, South Africa were knocked out of the marquee event due to an inferior net run rate. South Africa lose only one fixture out of the five they played at the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021, but were placed third in Group 1, which shattered their hopes in clinching the semi-final berth. There was a three-way tie between England, Australia and South Africa, but the other two teams marched to the sem-finals courtesy of a better net run rate.
Sharing his views on the team’s journey in the tournament, South Africa head coach Mark Boucher said that being knocked out of the tournament is a bitter pill to swallow. He also added that the team played some good cricket throughout the campaign.
“It’s not successful (campaign) because you’re knocked out of the World Cup. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.I think we played some very good cricket throughout the campaign, under a lot of pressure as well after having lost our first game. We beat the in-form side in world cricket tonight ... It’s tough for the guys,” Boucher said after the win against England.
The biggest positives for South Africa during the match against England were Rassie Van der Dussen's 94 off 60 balls and Kagiso Rabada's hat-trick in the final over. The former wicket-keeper batsman reckoned that a win against England in great margin was very difficult, but the players tried their best.
"It's a tough one for the guys in the changing room. We knew what we had to do today, the equation was very difficult for us to have to get through. I just said to the guys just try control what we can control. Unfortunately, we can't control what other results are out there. We did the job today but it's quite bitter," he opined.
South Africa's lone defeat in the tournament came against Australia by five wickets while defending 119. Speaking on South Africa's defeat against the Aaron Finch-led side at the Super 12 stage, Boucher admitted that the team didn’t bat well enough in their opening fixture at the tournament.
"Well, the first game. The first game was tight. We just didn't bat well enough. It was tough. We lost the toss. We batted first and we weren't 100 percent sure what a good total was because we were the first game to go out there and be played. We maybe looked at getting 160 but probably needed about 130,140 to be competitive. We could have maybe done better there," he remarked.
In the fixture against Bangladesh, South Africa bundled the opposition for 84 runs. They eventually missed an opportunity to boost their net run rate by taking 13.3 overs to complete the chase. Reflecting on the match, Boucher stated that people might say that we should have gone harder but it was a difficult surface.
"Chasing a small total against Bangladesh, people can maybe look at that and said we should have gone a bit harder there, but that wasn't the intention, and we lost three wickets ona wicket that is going all over the shop," he commented.
Sharing his thoughts about the current South Africa team, Boucher said that it is a young side and they are heading in the right direction.
"It's a young side, we are still developing. We are heading in the right direction. We need a bit of luck and a bit of good fortune to go our way. Hopefully we can put something in the trophy cabinet soon." he concluded.
Despite a resounding victory against England on Saturday in Sharjah, South Africa have been knocked out of the T20 World Cup 2021.