“THIS is a six-week tournament. We’ve had a bad week.”
With these words, coach Ottis Gibson has tried to galvanise his Proteas charges as they plot a way past the mess of their opening ICC World Cup campaign in the UK.
South Africa are literally against the ropes going into their fourth match against West Indies at the Rose Bowl Ground today (11.30am).
They need to win, if they are to live to fight another day.
“If we have a good week next week and win a couple of games, then the whole thing changes.
It’s only us that can change it,” reasoned Gibson.
“I have every confidence in the players in the dressing room because they have done it before.”
Derailed by a frustrating 15-run defeat to Australia, the West Indies will be looking to get their campaign back on track.
And they will surely fancy themselves a win against the tournament’s whipping boys.
Pressure has mounted on the top and mid-order batsmen, who have been falling like dominoes since the opener against England.
The AB de Villiers saga hasn’t made things any easier for the flopping batsmen, with many divided on whether the retired star should or should not have been allowed to go the World Cup.
None of the top five has reached figures of 80 runs.
There are also the injury woes with Lungi Ngidi having joined Dale Steyn in the sick bay this week.
The fast bowler is understood to be improving but is unlikely to appear against West Indies.
“He could probably play, but it would be a bit of a risk,” said Gibson.
“We’ll have to keep monitoring him. We’ll have to see where the physio and medical team tells us how he is.”