Dark mist hangs over SA team, says Kirsten

South Africa's continued failure to win a major international limited overs title hangs over the team like a dark mist, coach Gary Kirsten said on Thursday after his team's premature exit from the Twenty20 World Cup.

The world's top-ranked Test side, who have never won a 50 or 20 overs title despite starting as one of the favourites each time they enter a global tournament, lost all their Super Eight group matches in Sri Lanka. Kirsten told a news conference after his team's return it was time for the current crop of South Africa players to shed the choker tag.

"It was a highly pressurised tournament in Sri Lanka but we were fully aware of that. The legacy that sits with South Africa cricket over these World Cup events continues to sit there, it's a dark mist that sits over the team and it will be our responsibility to at some point to overcome it," Kirsten said.

"I'm fully confident in the resources we have in this team and the guys who have to make those plays when we need to make them. But it's a collective mist that sits with us and it's our responsibility as custodians of the game of cricket in this country to overcome," Kirsten said.

"We have three events coming up; the Champions trophy next June in England, then the World T20 and then the World Cup. There are quite a few coming through and hopefully this is a good stepping stone for us to be able to at some point cross the line in those events at some point," the coach added.

Captain AB de Villiers said it was important that the Proteas learned to finish opponents off. "During the game against Pakistan we had them 70 for seven but we did not have that killer instinct. It is an area where we need to get better at," he said.

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