The Proteas may have spent the past few days contemplating off the field, but Test Vice Captain Temba Bavuma said there was no shelter from the honest, hard discussions they had to have in the wake of their humiliating innings-and-276 run. defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the first Test in Christchurch.
With the second Test against the reigning world champions starting at the same venue on Thursday night at midnight South African time, the Proteas have to put in a dramatically improved show after their abysmal batting, bowling and fielding in the first game.
“We had conversations as a team and they were mainly about fairness around our performance,” Bavuma said on Tuesday. “Losing like that in practically a two-day test match is not good enough.
“In all three disciplines, we have not produced the standards that we are proud of. We are all very disappointed and we know we need to improve.
“Yes, we ran out of energy in the first Test, but that’s no excuse. We need to make sure we are in a better mental and physical condition to compete this week.
“And it starts with being honest. The performance just wasn’t good enough,” said Bavuma.
While it may look like the Proteas have been rocked by an avalanche of soft layoffs, poor deliveries and missed catches, Bavuma is still confident they can dig themselves out of their predicament and still level the two-game streak, all while maintained their proud record that they never lost a series to New Zealand.
“We had to remind the boys that we have overcome a lot in recent times and that this is not a foreign situation. We know how to get back when we have our backs against the wall,” Bavuma said.
“We have the character and we can draw confidence from how we have performed in recent times, as a team we can draw a lot of positives from how we have fought before.
“Last week is now over and it’s important how we come back. We prepare ourselves as best as possible to put our best foot forward.
“The sun has come out and the Hagley Oval pitch should be a bit more pleasant to store. We expect conditions to be a little different,” Bavuma said.