Defending Champions India, on February 22nd at Melbourne, defeated South Africa for the first time in the World Cup. With this win, India are most likely to end as the table toppers of Pool B. On the other hand, South Africa had nothing going for them and that is why they suffered this annihilation in the process. Let us take a look at the five reasons as to why South Africa lost to India:
Crucial Drop Catch of Dhawan:
Unlike some of his team-mates, Hashim Amla is not known for his stupendous efforts in the field but he had the chance to change that when Dhawan played a shot at backward point in the 20th over when he was on 53. The ball was at catchable height but unfortunately Amla dropped it and Dhawan went on to score 137 off 146 balls, which proved pivotal in the end.
Vernon Philander’s hamstring injury:
Philander along with Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel forms the most lethal bowling attack in the cricketing world. However, he could bowl just four overs in the match due to a tight hamstring and was off the field for most of India’s innings, but returned to bat later in the match. With both Steyn and Morkel having a tough day with the bowl, skipper De Villiers would have actually missed the services of Philander.
Collective Failure of batsmen:
Except Faf du Plessis, none of their batsmen got going in what looked like an easy pitch to bat on at Melbourne. Starting from Quinton de Kock to JP Duminy, none of the batsman looked settled at the crease. AB De Villiers, who effects a lot of run-outs on the field, found himself caught short of his own ground. De Villiers was pushing for a second run after driving the ball to sweeper. Mohit Sharma threw the accurately to Dhoni, who just had to break the stumps. Umesh Yadav also effected a good run-out of David Miller which almost sealed the deal for India.
Wrong call to play Parnell ahead of Abbott:
South Africa dropped Farhaan Behardien in favour of Wayne Parnell and the move back-fired as he conceded 85 runs from his 9 overs. His inconsistency has affected South Africa in the past also and that is why I get a feeling that De Villiers made the wrong call by including him ahead of the genuine seamer Kyle Abbott. Abbott is known for maintaining his consistent line and length and who knows, he could have made up for both Steyn and Morkel, who are currently going through a pale patch.
Right from the word go, South Africa lacked discipline in the field with dropped catches and untidy bowling. The professional attitude was missing and it looked like that they lacked the killer instinct to go out all guns blazing on the field. They were not at all competitive and with a loss like this, the team’s confidence can take a bit of a knock.