India v South Africa in Cricket World Cup: Du Plessis promises ‘harsh words’

South Africa conceded 37 fours and three sixes against Bangladesh
World Cup, South Africa v India
Date: Wednesday, 5 June Venue: Hampshire Bowl Start: 10:30 BST Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website and app

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis says there will be “harsh words” for his team before Wednesday’s World Cup match with India at Southampton.

Having lost the first match of the event to England by 104 runs, the world number three-ranked side were then beaten by Bangladesh by 21 runs.

“It was not good enough,” admitted Du Plessis, who top-scored with 62.

“If guys think they can make excuses for performances like that then they will be challenged – that’s a fact.”

Bangladesh made 330-6 at The Oval – their highest one-day total – having been asked to bat, which left South Africa to attempt the highest completed run-chase in World Cup history.

But they lost wickets at regular intervals and the captain was their only batsman to pass fifty.

“My style of captaincy has always been that there’s a line and if you don’t perform to that line there will be a lot of harsh words,” said Du Plessis.

“There’s a time for strictness, and when you see that a dressing room needs you to be strong and to motivate them.

“To blame bad luck is not an option for me. You still have to find a way to put in performances and we’re just off in some areas.”

Opening bowler Lungi Ngidi conceded seven fours as his four overs went for 34, while Kagiso Rabada also went wicketless in 10 overs for 57.

“The opening bowlers would be the first to say we didn’t execute our skills,” the skipper admitted. “Plan A’s gone. It’s gone because Plan A was those bowlers playing together.

“I have to believe we can still win the tournament. I wouldn’t be South African if I said no to that. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with identity. At the moment it’s a skill thing.

“Every single player in our dressing room is not playing to their full potential, and that’s why we’re falling short.”

South Africa, yet to reach a World Cup final, are world number two-ranked India’s first opponents at this year’s tournament.

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