South Africa missed Jacques Kallis, feels Gary Kirsten

Gary Kirsten felt South Africa lacked the experience in a crunch situation during the first semi-final against England in ICC Champions Trophy 2013 © Getty Images

London: Jun 20, 2013

South Africa coach Gary Kirsten hinted that the team missed the services of the experienced Jacques Kallis after their seven-wicket loss to England in the first semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 in London on Wednesday.

“I think in high pressure games and pressurised environments, you want your most experienced players because they’re used to those situations but at the same time, your experienced players can have a lot of scoring from past events. It would have been nice to have Jacques Kallis here,” he said, as reported by www.icc-cricket.com

“But South African cricket has to move past Jacques Kallis. He’s been around for 20 years and been an incredible servant to the game, but we need to find other players and I think we have.

“I think our strength going into this Champions Trophy was our batting line-up. We focused our attention on our middle-order, we thought with AB de Villiers, Francois du Plessis, David Miller and JP Duminy that we had a powerful middle-order unit.”

Asked if the departing coach had left the side in a better state, Kirsten said, “I don’t know if I’ve left them in a better state because I certainly would have liked to have taken the team to at least the final, which I haven’t been able to do so. But did I leave the team in a better state? I don’t know.

“We certainly haven’t improved, and that’s where the question mark needs to come over me, so maybe it’s a good decision that I’m leaving. As a coach, you always want to take the team forward in some way. I think there are some good signs.

“We’ve definitely seen some nice youngsters come through and younger players; but certainly in events of this nature, we haven’t gone forward, no, and that is disappointing.

“We have to take that on the chin and move forward and work out ways that we can make it work. Certainly we all move on to different journeys and different experiences wherever we go, and we try to give it our best shot. That’s all we can do.”