South Africa should watch England in the Cricket World Cup and think - that could be us in four years time.
It’s been a tough campaign but they need to seize on the positives. They will start rebuilding from the top and decide on where they want to go and how they want to go about it.
They will lose a few players, especially a guy like Imran Tahir who’s been such a pivotal part of that one-day setup for us, and it’s going to take time to replace those guys.
It’s not going to be an easy period going forward but they are going to have to decide on the type of cricket they want to play and how they are going to go about doing it.
They need to think about the personnel they want involved, the players they want involved, and stick to the game plan they want to play and how they see themselves playing in the next World Cup.
They need to work towards that next tournament. We saw the way England did it, so we know it’s possible but it’s going to need some hard thinking off the field as well as hard work on it.
The way they played their last game against Australia, with freedom, without being scared of failure, without worrying about losing, that’s what we need to follow.
It’s as much of a mindset change as it is to do with the technical side. In fact, it’s probably a mindset change more than it is anything else.
The talent is there and even though we weren’t favourites, that’s why people thought we still had a chance of winning it because we know what the players can produce.
Unfortunately they only produced in the last couple of games, but that’s the level they were expected to perform at but for whatever reason it didn’t happen.
No dearth of talent
They now have to sit down and chat about where it went wrong, but the players are there it’s just about putting the performances together and finding out why it didn’t go to plan.
One result doesn’t cover up all the issues they’ve got. They are going to have to sit down and work out why it went wrong, just because they won the last two doesn’t mean there are no issues.
There are issues there and they need to work out what those are, but I think a lot of us feel better after those last two results as it shows we do have the players to move us forward.
Against Australia they produced the type of cricket I think everyone kind of expected them to produce, it’s just a shame that they were not able to do it earlier in the tournament.
Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen both performed really well with the bat and it proved the point again that if you do get in, you have to take it big and get a big hundred.
That’s what South Africa were lacking throughout those other games, no one got in and got a big score and when you get in and go big it takes your team total to those 300-plus scores.
If you’re batting first, that then makes it tough for the side chasing. Also, if your chasing you need those guys to get those big hundreds to have any chance of reaching your target.
So South Africa needed a lot more of those big scores throughout the World Cup and for their batsmen to not get out so many times in soft ways when they got in.
The bowlers also showed what sort of ability they do have and even though a guy like David Warner gets a hundred and gets Australia close, they still held their nerve.
They made the right calls when they were under pressure and followed through with their plans, so all round it was a good performance for South Africa to finish on.
This column was first published in the International Cricket Council media zone.