We've got news for you.

Register on HeraldLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Proteas ease their minds at luxury hotel before thoughts turn to semifinals

South Africa coach Rob Walter and captain Temba Bavuma.
South Africa coach Rob Walter and captain Temba Bavuma.
Image: Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

At their luxury hotel situated about 45 minutes outside this bustling metropolis, the Proteas can get over their disappointment from Sunday night’s chastening defeat to the host nation, with a variety of luxury treatments.

Available to them are Swedish and Deep Tissue treatments and “various Western therapies” in the hotel Spa.

Something called “global therapy offerings”, which lasts 60 minutes and is “complemented by a very refreshing steam/sauna”, will rejuvenate the senses.

And for good measure an “exclusive 20 mins complementary head massage as well”.

Massaging the mind must be what’s needed most after the worst loss in Proteas history.

The players have not got carried away with their success at this tournament — six wins from eight matches, which very few — at home or here in India — believed they were capable of achieving.

However, given how they’d performed it was always going to be a challenge for them once opposition teams had observed their style of play, and come up with ways to nullify their strengths.

What Temba Bavuma and the management would not have accounted for on Sunday was how much one of their strong suites, their potency with the new ball, would come apart at the seams in quite the manner it did at Eden Gardens.

What the Proteas have done throughout this tournament is be very deliberate about leaving the past behind them regardless of the result. 

Marco Jansen may not have much meat on his bones, but he could do with sweating out the remnants of Sunday’s performance — arguably the worst in his 22-match ODI career — in that luxury steam room.

He did concede 92 runs against Sri Lanka in the opening match in Delhi, but that was a batting paradise, where Kusal Mendis just closed his eyes and threw his bat at everything.

In Kolkata, Jansen just kept serving up gifts to the Indian top order, whether wides or half volleys, full tosses and bouncers that didn’t bounce.

Lungi Ngidi, improved in his second spell when his cutters provided more reward, but threatened too rarely.

The batters too could do with a relaxing massage, their minds are probably still dotted with Bumrah, Shami and Siraj, darting the ball one way then the other before Jadeja spun them into knots.

What the Proteas have done throughout this tournament is be very deliberate about leaving the past behind them regardless of the result.

After their opening wins against Sri Lanka and Australia, the players were quite clear that those matches would be celebrated that night, but once they had put their heads down to sleep or stepped out of the hotel to head to their next destination, the match they had played was to be forgotten.

“For us the next four days will be the same as we have done with our time throughout the tournament; we will get ready for the next fixture and then into a semifinal,” Rob Walter the coach said.

He emphasised the importance of “recovering mentally and physically and then competing like we have the whole tournament”.

Those kinds of routines are vital at a point in the competition when matches start to matter or doubts may creep in after a big loss.

The Proteas will train at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday, ahead of Friday’s clash there with Afghanistan, which will be their last in the round-robin phase.

Their minds have already turned to the semifinal, and there is an awareness that to be in good shape for that match, they need a confidence-boosting win on Friday.

Best then to get into a relaxed frame of mind either with a massage, a sauna or “global therapy offerings”.


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.