Rob Walter downplays Proteas' hammering by Cricket World Cup hosts India

Rob Walter downplays Proteas' hammering by Cricket World Cup hosts India

Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter has downplayed their harrowing defeat to Cricket World Cup hosts India in their penultimate group stage clash in Kolkata on Sunday.

South Africa fell to a dominant Indian bowling attack, scoring a paltry 83 runs – their second-lowest total in an One Day International (ODI) innings and lowest-ever at a World Cup, after a dismal bowling display that allowed star batter Virat Kohli and company to post a mammoth 326-5 in their 50 overs at Eden Gardens.

READ: Proteas blown away by hosts India in Cricket World Cup group stage

This resulted in a 243-run victory for India, who are outright favourites to clinch a third 50-over World Cup crown, although both sides already secured their semi-final spots before the match, and Walter believes potentially meeting the hosts again – in the final – would in all likelihood produce a different outcome.

"I mean, they're a hell of a team, very well-balanced and highly skilled. There's no way around it. They've won every game and they've won it well," conceded Walter in the post-match press conference.

"You have to believe that, on a day if you execute your skills, you've also got a chance and we just didn't right from the word go.

"We know already what Marco Jansen can do with a new ball – today was an off day, the guy's a young guy playing in a World Cup.

"He's played seven excellent games to this point and didn't have a great start today and could just as easily bowl very well the next time we find ourselves against them, if we're able to.

"So yeah, this game is a funny game and you get taught new lessons every single day, and get surprised every single day. So, it wouldn't surprise me if the tables turned the next time around. 

"The beauty of it is that there may well be another shot for us and we've been given an opportunity to learn from that."

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The former fitness coach felt the difference was merely that his charges were "out-skilled" on the day, with both bat and ball.

"To be fair, just a day that we were out-skilled really. I didn't feel that was a 320 pitch. They obviously got off to a flyer and we pulled it back nicely," he said. 

"I thought Keshav bowled beautifully today along with KG. And yeah, 320 was too much on that deck and then from a bowling point of view they put us under pressure right from the word go. We couldn't claw our way back and, as I said, just got out-skilled on the day."

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