“It’s slightly bit embarrassing.”
These had been the phrases uttered by South African skipper, Faf du Plessis after his aspect misplaced by 49 runs to Pakistan at Lord’s.
That outcome noticed the life assist system on the Proteas’ World Cup marketing campaign switched off.
The South African crew has received simply one in every of its seven matches.
Solely Afghanistan sits under them on the desk.
Their final two video games can have no affect on their future as they’re heading residence early regardless.
Alas, for South African followers, failure on the World Cup is one thing they’re used to.
Since re-entering the worldwide area post-Apartheid, the nation has contested eight World Cups.
They’ve made the semi-finals 4 instances, solely to be denied a finals berth on every event.
Alongside the way in which probably the most undesirable sobriquet in sport – ‘chokers’ – has been utilized at varied instances.
None extra so than 2003, when South Africa hosted the event.
A fourth-place end of their pool noticed them miss out on the tremendous six stage.
This time round, the present crew was seen as a professional semi-final prospect.
Most noticed England, India and Australia filling three of the 4 slots within the semis with New Zealand and South Africa probably the most favoured to make up the ultimate 4.
Because it has turned out, the Black Caps are at the moment sitting atop the tree with 5 wins from six begins.
In a bid to finish their World Cup drought, Cricket South Africa produced what it referred to as ‘Imaginative and prescient 2019’, a concerted effort to provide a crew with the power and wherewithal to carry the silverware.
A significant snag was hit in Might 2018 when the aspect’s talisman, A B de Villiers made the shock announcement that he was retiring from all types of worldwide cricket, efficient instantly.
It was anticipated that he would pull the pin on his Proteas profession after the World Cup having stated quite a few instances in the last few years that successful the trophy was his final purpose.
Bizarrely, on the day that South Africa finalised its squad for this 12 months’s event, de Villiers approached the captain and coach and stated he wished to make a comeback.
The skipper reportedly was eager to have de Villiers again however the selectors thought in any other case.
Information of his plans to desert his worldwide retirement on the eleventh hour grew to become public after South Africa had misplaced its opening three matches of the event.
It offered a considerable distraction to a crew that was firmly beneath the pump.
The selectors did take a threat, nevertheless, with the alternatives of pacemen Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi.
Each had been sidelined with harm within the lead-in to the event.
Whereas Steyn has been an incredible of the sport, he has barely donned the colored uniform lately.
Since January 2016, he has performed simply 13 one-day internationals.
Not surprisingly, he was withdrawn from the squad along with his ongoing shoulder downside earlier than he might bowl a single supply.
Ngidi, who was struggling a aspect pressure within the build-up, has missed three video games with a hamstring harm.
For a lot of the event, fast Kagiso Rabada and 40-year-old leg-spinner Imran Tahir have been required to shoulder the majority of the load.
Each have toiled manfully and carried out their finest to maintain their aspect in video games.
However it’s the batting that has been notably lacklustre.
Quinton de Kock is the main run-scorer with 238 runs from seven innings at 39.7, significantly down on his profession common of 45.2.
His strike charge has been a moderately pedestrian 84 towards a profession mark of 95.
His 68 towards Afghanistan is the very best of his crew’s seven half-centuries.
Hashim Amla has had a woeful event.
His six innings have netted 123 runs at 24.6 with a strike charge of 59.
In comparison with his profession common and strike charge of 49.zero and 89 respectively it underlines his fall from grace.
His final 22 ODIs have produced a meagre common of 32.6.
He has been stored within the aspect extra on sentiment than efficiency.
At 36, this World Cup will certainly be his final hurrah.
JP Duminy, at 35, is more likely to observe him on the journey into the sundown.
He has contributed 56 runs in three innings.
The captain could also be a casualty of this marketing campaign as effectively.
Whereas du Plessis has said that he needs to bow out following the T20 World Cup in Australia subsequent October, he will not be accorded that luxurious.
All through the event, South Africa has seemed to be tentative, virtually afraid to take dangers.
There was a definite lack of aptitude with the willow.
This isn’t the way in which the fashionable sport is performed.
They’ve performed a model of cricket extra akin to the way in which the sport was performed a decade in the past earlier than T20 reinvigorated the one-day sport and dropped at it a extra expansive 360-degree method.
With each loss, the collective physique language has appeared increasingly more fraught.
The strain of expectation from a determined supporter base seems to have floor them down.
South Africa will face a big rebuild following this World Cup.
Successive sides have carried wholesome expectations to the sports activities premier white ball event, typically far better than this time round.
Every time they’ve fallen brief.
They’ve 4 years to get it proper forward of the subsequent World Cup in India.
Historical past signifies that it is going to be a monumental job.