SA can survive woeful World Cup start: Phehlukwayo

London: Andile Phehlukwayo said South Africa’s dismal start to the World Cup does not have to be fatal to their hopes of winning the tournament for the first time.

Faf du Plessis’s side crashed to their second successive defeat on Sunday as Bangladesh won by 21 runs at the Oval. That setback came hot on the heels of their 104-run thrashing by England, leaving South Africa with no margin for error in the 10-team competition.

Facing title contenders India at Southampton on Wednesday is hardly what South Africa would have preferred as they fight to stay in contention for a semi-final berth. But all-rounder Phehlukwayo is adamant the Proteas can get back on track as long as they do not dwell on their misfortune.

“There have been some bad days in my career. I’ve learned, and the team has learned, that it is not the end of the world,” Phehlukwayo told reporters. “We can always bounce back. We are a team that bounces back from situations and we will definitely do it again. We haven’t had a good start but this is a big tournament and anyone can beat anyone on any given day.”

The injury-hit South Africans have had to do without veteran pace bowler Dale Steyn in both matches due to a shoulder problem, while star batsman Hashim Amla missed the Bangladesh match following a head injury. Adding to their problems, Lungi Ngidi was ruled out for up to 10 days with a hamstring strain sustained against Bangladesh. Amla could return against India, but Phehlukwayo says it is South Africa’s failure to execute their game-plan that has been the biggest problem.

“If you are smart and clinical and you execute, you’ll win. We’ve been missing that but it’s coming,” he said. “The coach has mentioned winning small battles, breaking partnerships and taking wickets. It’s not far away.”