T20 World Cup Take the positives
Posted by Craig | Oct 24, 2021 cricketfanaticsmag.com
Despite a lackluster batting display, we ought to take heart from the fight shown in our opening T20 World Cup defeat to the Australians, writes Craig Stirton.
A friend of mine and I – both avid golfers – have a saying after a poor round on the course: “Take the positives”. And this – hard as it may be at the moment – is what I implore all Proteas fans to do.
It’s too easy to bemoan the fact that the Aussies got the better of us at an ICC event for the umpteenth time. Rather, the bowlers and fielding unit alike are to be commended for taking their defense of a paltry total deep into the final over.
Keeping the likes of David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell in check is no mean feat. When defending just 119, there is almost a sense of inevitably that despite the bowlers’ best efforts, the batting side will prevail barring some great calamity.
To their credit though, the bowlers gave us hope and gave the Aussie batters something to ponder. Rather than rolling over and resigning themselves to defeat – three wickets inside the first eight overs while simultaneously stemming the flow of runs – was sign enough that the side was up for the fight.
It’s worth noting that, in all, four of the six bowlers used went for less than six to the over. Moreover, only four extras were conceded during the innings which is pretty impressive under the circumstances.
I know this is cold comfort after a pretty frustrating start to the tournament but that’s just it: It’s just the start. There is another noteworthy positive too: Aiden Markram’s performance.
Markram played a steadying hand while the rest of the batting unit largely came unstuck. Occupying the crease for the better part of 15 overs – his measured knock of 40 off 36 was one of the biggest reasons why the Proteas remained in the contest for as long as they did. When he is in full flow he is an absolute joy to watch. The ease with which he dispatched Mitchell Starc through the covers for a boundary in the ninth over was one of my favourite moments of the day.
Lest we forget that cracking catch he took to remove Steve Smith…
Tournaments aren’t won or lost on the first matchday. Let’s rather put the disappointment of this game behind us – take the positives – and back our boys to right the ship.