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Cricket | SA Team

Proteas can win championship titles - AB



Skipper AB de Villiers believes the Proteas have the ability to win global titles after they were dumped out in the second round of the World T20 tournament in Sri Lanka this week.

The Proteas finished top of their group in the opening round of the global showpiece, but finished last in their Super Eights group, going down in successive matches against Pakistan, Australia and India.

South Africa have never won the ICC World Cup or the World T20, securing their only international championship when they lifted the Champions Trophy in 1998.

"I truly believe we have the squad and the talent in South Africa to win major tournaments," De Villiers said after the Proteas arrived back in the country on Thursday.

"It's hard to come back in a quick tournament like the T20.

"You need your momentum, you need to close down games that you control.

"We controlled the Pakistan game. We fought back really hard and we were in control.

"It was up to us to win and we didn't. After that, we faced Australia and India, two world class teams like we all know.

"The Aussies were just on fire that day. We played well in patches but they never really allowed us to control that game."

De Villiers was pleased with the commitment shown by the side and was encouraged by his own role within the team, despite facing criticism for some of his on-field decisions.

"I've learnt a lot about my captaincy and my leadership but as a person I'm not going to do anything different," he said.

"I obviously like to lead by example and I've got to know my players really well and that's the most important to me.

"As a captain I would like to get better at knowing exactly who to turn to and when to do so."

Meanwhile, coach Gary Kirsten admitted they were far from their best and had to accept that they had been outplayed by the likes of Australia and Pakistan.

"For me, in my role in the team over the last year, (T20 cricket) has probably been the one format where there has been less stability," Kirsten said.

"It was definitely disappointing. I think we had better expectations of ourselves, in terms of what we could have achieved in the tournament.

"Certainly we felt we could have competed with the other teams and at points in all the games we did compete.

"We have to be honest with ourselves, we didn't close the deal in those certain moments in games like we wanted to."

Kirsten believed they would bounce back on their tour to Australia next month.

"We need to take this on the chin and move forward," he said.

"This tour has given us an indication of where we need to go in order to move forward.

"We are very excited about the Australia tour. We have made great strides as a test team and this team has a lot of stability in it.

"We've become No 1 in the world in test cricket and I think there is a real desire for us to stay there."

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