Experiencing a fifth World Cup semifinal loss is frustrating, but South Africa will definitely take pride in their performances in this edition of the event and veteran batter David Miller believes it’s only a matter of time before they clinch the coveted trophy.
World Cup’s perennial ‘chokers’ South Africa, having taken the group stage by storm with their power-packed batting, fell short in the semifinal, but Miller’s century backed up by a disciplined bowling show kept Australia on the edge in their nervy three-wicket win over the Proteas here on Thursday.
”It’s pretty frustrating to be honest. Quinny (Quinton De Kock) mentioned with his four hundreds, he is okay not to score any runs and win the trophy,” Miller told reporters here.
”You want to get through to the final and have a crack at the trophy. We’re happy to have hung in there and put up a total. That’s the game of cricket.” The likes of pace bowling all-rounder Gerald Coetzee, who made his ODI debut only in March this year, along with left-arm quick Marco Jansen have been impressive for South Africa in this World Cup.
”Before the tournament started, we talked about just having great memories, and enjoy the journey. We ticked a lot of boxes, can definitely look back and say we had a great time. It doesn’t help losing a semifinal but guys showed a lot of character,” Miller said.
”We all played in different tournaments, different teams. It’s one of these thing. It wasn’t to be this occasion. But the guys are definitely going to win a World Cup. We showed what we can do,” he said. Their last World Cup choke was in the 2015 semifinal against New Zealand in Auckland, where the co-hosts won with one ball remaining in a rain-affected match.
Asked about the mood this time, Miller said: ”There were a lot more tears in Auckland. Not a great feeling to lose a World Cup semifinal. But we had a great campaign from the team, consistent performances (in this edition). Individuals have stood out, to lose this is pretty frustrating,” he said.
Asked whether he is mulling retirement, the 34-year-old said: ”I will see how it goes. I can’t answer how my body feels right now. I’m going to take it year by year and assess. It’s (the next World Cup) a long way away now.” Before the match, skipper Temba Bavuma admitted that he was not 100 per cent fit, but he still played only to return with a four-ball duck, capping off a miserable tournament with 35 being his highest score.
But Miller backed his skipper and said he has made the difference as a leader.
”He (Bavuma) didn’t get runs as he would have liked to. But he has done his fitness and he was fine, obviously he was not 100 per cent but the leader that he’s, I think he’s really stood up in the last year-and-half. He has taken ODI cricket to another level.
”Unfortunately he didn’t get runs. But to have a leader like him is always important. He did a great job,” Miller said.