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SA did not know their best 11, did not have a Plan B: Rhodes

SA did not know their best 11, did not have a Plan B: Rhodes

New Delhi: South Africa neither knew their best playing XI nor had a plan B for challenging situations and it was hardly a surprise that their World Cup campaign became a series of disasters, said Jonty Rhodes in a scathing review of the team's performance.

It is only the second time that South Africa, who still have one league game to play before boarding the flight back home, have not made it to the knock-out stages of the World Cup.

"When I was asked a month ago when they started their campaign. The only thing that was going in their favour was no one was expecting much from them. Their last 12 months have not been pretty with regards to their domestic results or the international results and they did not know their best eleven," Rhodes told PTI here in an interview on Sunday.

"So when you go to a World Cup, and you have still not finalised your eleven, I think you are in trouble. They were generously ranked three or four at the start of the World Cup but probably played as per their strength on paper," he said on the sidelines of an event organised by ICC's beer partner Bira 91.

Rhodes, who played 52 Tests and 245 ODIs and is one of the best fielders to have played the game, said South Africa also paid the price for not having an alternate plan for tough situations.

"In a World Cup you have to convert your 40s and 60s into hundreds. We did not do that. We did not really have a Plan B.

"Plan A was to bowl fast, bowl teams out but England has two summers. One gives you cold and swinging conditions, the other is flat and hot. I think we just went there hoping to bowl people out with sheer pace. There are some good players and they are not going to succumb to short pitched bowling on good wickets."

The 49-year-old also had a lot to say on AB de Villiers wanting to make an international comeback with the World Cup after announcing a shock retirement last year. Cricket South Africa did not accept him back in the team but the entire episode triggered a massive controversy in the middle of the team's struggling World Cup campaign.

"You can't replace ABD and you can't accept him back in the last moment. He has been retired for a year so you can't (have him back). I am a big fan of ABD and someone who is wanting South Africa to do well, it would be amazing to have him in the team but the team needs more than one player to do well and that is where India have been really impressive," said Rhodes.

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