Melbourne: A dejected South Africa captain AB de Villiers said the "embarrassing" 130-run defeat against India was a severe dent to their confidence and the team will have to lick its wounds for a while now.
"Yeah, it's a big knock for us to get beaten by 130 runs.
It's almost embarrassing. You never want to lose by that amount of runs. You always want to be a competitive team. Feel like you're always in the game, feel like you've got a chance to win games. We're going to have to lick our wounds for a while," de Villers said after crushing defeat in Pool B.
"It's not just about qualifying for the quarterfinals.
It's not about that. Your confidence takes a bit of a knock with performances like that," De Villiers said.
While he wants the senior players to come together in this pressure situation, he did admit that the defeat has taken its toll and he wants to sulk in silence.
"Come tomorrow, we'll have to start strategising on how we're going to recover and regroup as a unit, and we'll put all our focus on Friday against the West Indies. It's a big game for us and it's a must win for us in Sydney, but for now I just want to sort of go feel sad in my room for a while, and we'll see again how I feel tomorrow," De Villiers said without hiding his feelings.
De Villiers had a word of caution for his teammates saying this poor show can creep into the team's system.
"Today's performance can creep into your game if you start thinking about it too much. If you allow it to creep in, it will knock your confidence down. I want to have a mature chat and honest chat about it. When it comes down to making the quarterfinals, I still believe that if we play some good cricket, we'll make that."
The South African captain feels that it was a combination of poor batting from his team as well as some good bowling from India.
"A bit of both, I think. I spoke to Hashim after the innings. He actually mentioned to me that he was quite impressed with the bowling performance from India. I thought they were quite clever tonight, but definitely a poor batting performance. Like I mentioned before, the two run outs (his and David Miller) cost us quite a lot tonight.
"You can't afford to have two run outs in the top six. 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 disappointing."
De Villiers said that the two-paced nature of the wicket cause trouble to the extent that a South African team felt troubled by short-pitched stuff.
"Without making any excuses, it did play a little bit difficult in the evening. I found it quite difficult. It's not often that a South African team struggles against short pitch deliveries, but it was two-paced. One skids on, one got stuck in the wicket a bit which made it really difficult to get on top of it," said De Villiers.
"Yes, it was a good wicket in the afternoon. There's no doubt about that. It took a little bit of wear and tear throughout the day, and it got a bit too paced in the evening," he added.
The skipper also is unaware about the extent of injury sustained by Vernon Philander, who gave away only 19 runs in 4 overs.
"Vernon, I'm not sure about his injury yet. He'll go for scans tomorrow and we'll check it out. For now. I have no idea what his condition is like and whether he will be ready for the next game, but we'll assess that tomorrow."
The talismanic batsmen refused to believe that crowd pressure became a factor.
Having played in IPL for all these years, De Villiers was not surprised by the sharpness of the Indian fielders.
"I'm not surprised. That team has always wanted to win games. They're always competitive in World Cups and I didn't expect anything less from them to be honest. I expected them to be urgent, and they've run over in games, and especially in World Cups they lift their performance a bit. They didn't take us by surprise, but just poor running between the wickets on our part, I guess."
De Villiers didn't want to attribute it to crowd pressure.
"You've got to win games wherever you play in order to be the best team in the world. Crowd factor obviously played a role for them. I think that they either got a bit of a boost feeling that they're playing at home with a lot of support. I felt like we had support, as well. It's definitely not an excuse."
The skipper felt that leg-spinner Imran Tahir held his own against a quality batting line-up.
"I was very impressed with his performance. He played against a team that's renowned for the way they play spin bowling, probably the best spin bowling batting unit there is.
"A lot of questions were asked in the press before the game about whether Tahir is going to play and why is he playing and why am I thinking of playing him. I?m very proud of the way he performed tonight against world-class players, against spin, and he showed that he's right up there with one of the best spinners in the world at the moment."
The slowness of the wicket did play its part, feels De Villiers.
"It was definitely a slow wicket today, there's no doubt about that. It sort of was quite difficult in the afternoon for our bowlers. When Dale is running into the 140 plus, he is normally used to seeing shape. Not seeing that today was obviously a bit painful for him and some of the other seamers.
But once again, there are no excuses."