Fanie de Villiers: South Africa's bowling a greater concern than batting

South Africa, sans Dale Steyn, has conceded 300-plus runs in its two fixtures so far.

South Africa seeks quick turnaround after a pair of defeats to begin its World Cup campaign.   -  Reuters

Petrus Stephanus de Villiers, better known as Fanie, loves talking to the point. The 54-year-old former South Africa quick believes that the bowlers have been a big letdown for the Proteas in this edition of the World Cup.

As Faf du Plessis’ team squares off against India in Southampton on Wednesday for an all-important clash, Fanie breaks down five crucial points that have hurt the team so far. Of course, he wants Kagiso Rabada to ‘bowl quietly’ to India captain Virat Kohli. After an unimpressive run in the first couple of games, the young Rabada is under pressure and as he gears up to tackle a star-studded Indian batting line-up, Fanie says, “I would have been very worried if I were him.”

Fanie is concerned by South Africa's bowling after England and Bangladesh scored 300-plus runs and Rabada and co.

"The batting side struggled in one of the games, but the bowling unit struggled in the two games. The emphasis should definitely be more on the bowling side at the moment," he said.

"If I am the bowling coach, I would re-look the strategies our bowlers are following. Looks like they are attacking more than they should, looks like they are bowling straighter and also bowling straight to the line. There are a lot of balls that can be hit on the leg-side. The first thing is to find out if the guys are doing it wrong or is it that they are just bowling badly. It has to be one of the two. I am not too sure what is hurting us!" he added.

Read: Steyn ruled out of World Cup with injury

The former pacer also warned the Proteas of their fielding mistakes which could prove costly against the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

"It is equally important to re-look at our fielding. Our fielding is not as sharp as Pakistan’s. It is not like England’s. It is not even old traditional unbelievable fielding that we have seen from the South African teams in the past. To win matches, fielding is a key area. I feel India’s top batsmen will capitalise on it if we don’t rectify our errors before the fixture,"

South Africa's Kagiso Rabada has been in the news after he spoke about the confrontation with Indian skipper Virat Kohli, whom the pacer called 'immature' and described as someone who 'cannot take abuse'. Fanie said that he needs to

"As far the game against India is concerned, Rabada needs to play better cricket first. He is not bowling even close to how good he should be bowling. He has gone for 60-plus runs in the last two games -- 2/66 against England and 0/57 against Bangladesh. Now, he should be quietly bowling. He went for 66 in the first game against England! He should have a look (at what went wrong) in these games first. I think he should be concerned while bowling to Virat Kohli because he is a good player. I would have been very worried if I were him!"

Can’t blame a captain

How’s Faf du Plessis’ captaincy? Well, it’s difficult to say! It’s just two games. They should have won the last game -- against Bangladesh -- the bowlers are letting him down, bowling in both sides of the wicket. You can’t blame a captain for that. You need to look into the bowling strategy and (find out) if some of the players are fit enough to play. They are going for a lot of runs and if any game goes for 300 runs, you either have to an exceptional end or you have to get your bowlers to bowl a lot of bad balls. Difficult to (judge) a captain on two games!

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