South Africa legend Barry Richards believes lack of planning caused the side's ouster

With South Africa set to witness a transition after its senior players -- Imran Tahir and Jean-Paul Duminy -- retire, Richards felt it is important to handle Rabada with care.

Former South Africa batsman Barry Richards feels that the focus needs to be shifted to developing a better domestic cricket structure in a bid to maintain a proper supply line for the senior team.

Former South Africa batsman Barry Richards feels that the focus needs to be shifted to developing a better domestic cricket structure in a bid to maintain a proper supply line for the senior team.   -  Getty Images

Over the past few weeks, fans and experts have listed quite a few reasons for South Africa's ouster from the World Cup.

Former South Africa batsman Barry Richards believes that a lack of planning coupled with injuries to fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Ngidi Lungi hurt the team’s chances.

“A lot of our fast bowlers were injured. Fast bowling is our strength and our bowlers haven’t done well this time. It’s always a worry when your best bowler is 40 years old. That’s Imran (Tahir). He has had a great competition, but the fast bowlers (needed to step up),” Richards told Sportstar on Saturday.

At the Old Trafford to watch the team’s last league game against Australia, the 73-year-old admitted that to make it to the semifinals, it was necessary for the batsmen to step up as well. “The batsmen, too, haven’t really delivered. They have got to score and they should carry on. There hasn’t been many hundreds and that’s a worry. If you are not posting 300, you are not competitive…” Richards said.

With South Africa set to witness a transition after its senior players -- Tahir and Jean-Paul Duminy -- retire, Richards felt it is important to handle Rabada with care.

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“They have to manage him carefully. You don’t want the workload to be too much and he has got to decide that, along with the management. If you bowl him too much and if he gets tired, then you see the impact,” Richards said, referring to Rabada’s poor show, where he could scalp eight wickets in as many games.

Going forward, Richards feels that Cricket South Africa needs to focus on developing the domestic cricket structure in a bid to maintain a proper supply line for the senior team. “They need to decide on what they do with domestic cricket to make sure they have quality players to play at the international level. It all depends on how they address those issues… The players have got a little bit of concern about that. We will have to wait and see what Cricket South Africa does with that competition,” Richards said. “You need your domestic competition to be very strong like Ranji Trophy. If they don’t do that, then South Africa has no way to go.”

With his team crashing out of the tournament, Richards picked three contenders for the World Cup title this year. “Australia, England and India. They have been the best by far, and it will be one of them who will win the World Cup,” he signed off.