South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo was one of the few bowlers from his team who maintained a degree of control over the Bangladesh batsmen in their second match of the ICC World Cup 2019 at the Oval on Sunday. The youngster picked up 2/52 even as Bangladesh piled on 330/6 and handed South Africa a 21-run defeat.
It was the second defeat on the trot for the Proteas but Phehlukwayo is convinced that only minor tweaks are needed to get the team back on track ahead of the third match against India on Wednesday.
“There have been some bad days in my career,” Phehlukwayo 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,” he added.
Phehlukwayo said the Proteas coach Otis Gibson has suggested a few changes that the team need to come up with.
“The coach has mentioned winning small battles, breaking partnerships and taking wickets. It’s not far away,” the 23-year-old all-rounder said.
SA were still in with a chance for victory with skipper Faf du Plessis leading the way with a half-century and Rassie van der Dussen along with JP Duminy coming up with composed knocks.
However, two quick wickets from Mohammad Saifuddin saw Bangladesh assume total control of the game.
“It was one of those days,” Phehlukwayo said. “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,” Phehlukwayo who has 57 ODI wickets in 45 games, said.
With pace spearhead Dale Steyn on the sidelines and Lungi Ngidi struggling with injury, South Africa’s bowling attack has struggled to maintain control in the tournament so far. Ngidi has already been ruled out of the clash with India with a hamstring injury, while Steyn remains a doubtful starter as well.
“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 about his role.
“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,” the youngster from Durban said.