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De Villiers says big World Cup loss to India a big knock

February 22, 2015

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers says the implications of his side’s 130-run loss to India run a lot deeper than just a setback in its World Cup campaign.

The South Africans were comprehensively outplayed by the defending champion Indians in their Pool B match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, and de Villiers is concerned about the effect the defeat will have on the morale of his team.

“It’s a big knock for us to get beaten by 130 runs,” he said. “It’s almost embarrassing. You never want to lose by that amount of runs.”

While he’s still confident of South Africa advancing to the quarterfinals, de Villiers did not try to underplay the impact Sunday’s loss will have on his players.

“Your confidence takes a bit of a knock with performances like that, and it’s up to the senior group of players to make sure that confidence is still there come Friday against the West Indies,” he said.

“Things like today’s performance can creep into your game if you start thinking about it too much, and if you allow it to knock your confidence down.”

Although he produced one of South Africa’s better performances in the field and was singlehandedly responsible for two run outs, de Villiers was run out himself early in his team’s run chase, as was No. 5 David Miller.

“You can’t afford to have two run outs in the top six,” de Villiers said. “The top six are there to win games for you. It could have been my night or David’s night tonight, and we both sat on the side of the field not even being dismissed by a bowler, which is very disappointing.”

South Africa is in joint second place in Pool B with two points behind India’s four, and will need to quickly regroup ahead of its game against the West Indies on Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“We’ll have a chat tomorrow about where we went wrong. A mature chat and honest chat about it, and then hopefully play some good cricket on Friday,” de Villiers said. “When it comes down to making the quarterfinals, I still believe that if we play some good cricket we’ll make that, but for now we’ll just have to lick our wounds and focus on Friday.”

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