What’s the story?
The Proteas batsman, Faf du Plessis confessed that he was one of the reasons why the team choked yet again in a high-pressure must-win game against India in their last Group B match of the Champions Trophy and hence didn’t deserve to be in the semi-finals. He was a part of two terrible run-outs that sent AB de Villiers and David Miller back to the dressing room and Faf admitted it was his error in judgement that cost the side two big wickets in a crunch situation.
“We do not deserve to be in the Champions Trophy semis. We didn’t play our best cricket here. It was entirely my fault ... a big error in judgement. AB’s departure hurt us. The Indian bowlers are scared to bowl at him but then it was my fault that I got him run out,” said Du Plessis during the post match press conference.
The right-handed batsman further predicted that it will be England and India who will make it to the finals.
“That will be my final. England are the form team but India know how to win the big games,” he said.
In case you didn’t know...
On June 11, South Africa played India in their last Group B match and the points table was such that the game was a virtual quarter-final.
South Africa batted first and posted a meagre total of 191/10 (44.3 ov) and India chased the target down with great ease as they won the game with 8 wickets in hand and 12 overs to spare. The loss suffered by South Africa knocked them out of the competition and on the other hand, it assured Indian a semi-final spot.
The heart of the matter
South Africa entered the tournament as the No.1 ODI team and the team entering the semis was considered a certainty. However, the Proteas much like their reputation in major ICC events, crumbled under pressure.
During the press conference, a dejected Faf du Plessis agreed that the team did not play their ‘A game’ in the tournament and this is precisely why they don’t deserve to be in the final four.
South Africa were doing fairly well when de Villiers and du Plessis were trying to build a partnership. But what seemed to be the turning point was the terrible run-out of de Villiers when Faf tried to steal a single when there actually wasn’t one.
The error in judgement did not stop there as it was soon followed by another mix-up which was all-the-more ugly between Faf and David Miller. They both ended up on the same end of the pitch due to the lack of communication while running between the wickets.
The loss ended South Africa’s Champions Trophy campaign and propelled India to the semis. The men in blue will be playing fellow Asian team, Bangladesh in the Semi-finals on June 15, 3:00 PM (IST).
South Africa were outplayed by India from the very beginning. The pressure was being constantly put on their batsmen, courtesy of tight bowling and brilliant fielding. The scoreboard not ticking started to fret the Proteas and this is probably what caused his error in judgement whilst running between wickets.