Cardiff: South African skipper AB De Villiers said losing Morne Morkel in the 34th over of the match due to a strain in the left leg was a "shock" because he was the lynchpin of his team's seam attack. "But I still feel our boys fought back well to restrict India (to 331)...it could well have been 370," he told reporters in a post-match chat here on Thursday evening. (Read match report)
South Africa lost their ICC Champions Trophy opener by 26 runs and De Villiers put it down to "unforced errors" and "miscommunication in the heat of the battle." South Africa lost key batsmen like Robin Peterson and David Miller to silly run outs. Peterson's exit at the team score of 155 for three proved to be a turning point. (See: Match in pics)
"The runs outs proved to be costly but you can't do much about them. When the players are trying to do their best and your heart is pumping, the heat of the battle makes you make errors," De Villiers explained, adding: "we did play like wolves and our energy levels were quite high."
"We have to win our next two matches because in a short tournament, there are no margin for errors. We come here to win all games and we will take a lot of positives from the defeat against India," De Villiers said. (Also read: Dhoni richer than Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton)
But the skipper's plans may take a hit because Dale Steyn is still doubtful for South Africa's next game against Pakistan in Birmingham on Monday. "We will assess the situation every day and then hope for the best, but missing both Steyn and Morkel will be a massive blow," De Villiers said.
On Thursday evening, Morkel was rushed to a doctor for scans in his left quadriceps. He may take a maximum of seven days to recover, according to the South African team doctor.