The Art of Losing: Prem Panicker says the Proteas can Consider Themselves "Fortunes Fools"
“South Africa, the only cricket team whose serial misfortunes have midwifed a book titled The Art of Losing (by Luke Alfred), can with justification consider themselves Fortune’s Fools. Improbable though it sounds, it happened again at Auckland’s Eden Park against tournament co-host New Zealand.”
So writes Prem Panicker in an article for Rediff, commenting on and analysing the Proteas’ devastating loss during the semi-final round of this year’s edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup. He goes on to say:
“In Luke Alfred’s forensic examination of why the Proteas lose so much of the crunch games, he makes the point that they always tend to choose the safe, conventional option; Herschelle Gibbs makes similar points in his autobiography. That tendency to pick the safe, rather than the attacking, option was in view here.”
Read Panicker’s article in which he suggests that Alfred now has sufficient material to update his book after the national cricket team’s performance:
At the end of 30 overs, the Proteas were on a careful 129/3 with Faf du Plessis (48 off 83) and A B de Villiers (8 off 13) building towards a back-end assault.
Du Plessis pulled the trigger in the 31st over with a six off the hitherto immaculate Matt Henry who, pitchforked onto the big stage in place of the injured Adam Milne, had earlier produced a stunning first spell of 5-2-9-0. Dan Vettori was next to go, with both batsmen taking fours off the ageless Kiwi in the 32nd over.
From there on it was akin to watching two heavyweights slugging it out to a finish: McCullum kept attacking with catching positions, and de Villiers counter-attacked with a display of blistering hitting. The two batsmen pounded 55 runs off the five overs between 31 and 35.