Proteas middle order batsman David Miller says the side is hurting following their 2-1 T20 series loss to Australia.
It’s been a tough period for South Africa in white ball cricket since they finished seventh at last year’s 50-over World Cup in England.
With Mark Boucher operating as head coach, Graeme Smith the new Director of Cricket and Quinton de Kock now limited overs skipper, 2020 represented a clean slate for the national side.
Things are taking a while to get going under the new leadership, though, with Boucher yet to win a series as coach.
The Proteas went down 3-1 to England in the Test series over the festive season, drew 1-1 in the ODIs against the world champions and then lost that T20 series 2-1.
More concerning than any of those returns, however, has been the nature of South Africa’s two defeats to Australia where they were bowled out for 89 and 96 in the first and third T20s, respectively.
The top order has struggled and there is a feeling that there is far too much riding on De Kock’s success.
Miller, one of the senior players in the squad and a survivor from the 2019 World Cup, acknowledges that the results have not been good enough.
“We hate losing, so at the end of the day there is responsibility for us to perform,” the 30-year-old said at a JP21 Foundation event in Mitchells Plain, where former Protea JP Duminy was unveiling a new artificial pitch at Hyacinth Primary School.
“When we lose like we did, it doesn’t sit nicely.”
Despite the results, Miller says the new leadership and the dawn of a new era in South African cricket has left him feeling energised.
“At the same time, it is a newish time and there are a handful of guys who haven’t played and who are seeing what it’s all about and that’s something exciting. It’s a new crop of players and a new group,” he said.
“Guys are very bleak about the situation, but we’re excited about moving forward.
“We don’t want to be a team that lies down … we want to scrap for everything.
“There is a breath of fresh air with new energy, but we just have to find our identity which is still a process.”
With the T20 series over, attention will turn swiftly to a three-match ODI series against Australia that starts in Paarl on Saturday.