ICC Champions Trophy 2017: 5 reasons for South Africa's? premature exit
South Africa and ICC tournaments. That is one hell of a love story creating box office records since forever. Their familiar woes at ICC events continued in the Champions Trophy in England as they lost to India in a must-win group game encounter at The Oval. That they reached such a situation is largely due to their embarrassing loss to Pakistan in the previous game, a performance that did little to justify de Villiers' words at the end of the campaign.
"We've covered all the bases. There's no doubt about that," he said. "We've had camp after camp. And we've worked really, really hard on the nets, and we back each other, we trust each other, and for some reason, things like that just keep happening", the skipper said after they were ousted from the tournament.
For some reason, South Africa are just not able to overcome their fears in crucial games and this has stood between them and winning big games. They had the right personnel, in form players, a genius player, some incredibly talented bowlers and a veteran spinner. Yet when it most mattered very few put their hands up and did the job and even fewer seemed ready to fight it out. That their tournament was a horrible disaster is inked down but what really went wrong for the no.1 ODI side? Here is a take.
#5 Kagiso Rabada off radar
If South Africa had one area of zero concerns going into big tournaments, it was their pace bowling department. That wasn't the case this time around although concerns were smoothened by a Rabada-Parnell show at the Lord's against England just prior to the Trophy. However, the tall and lanky seamer was completely off the radar when the real deal began.
South Africa had high hopes from their new leader of the pack but Rabada let them down with highly inconsistent lengths and inability to intimidate batsmen. The young fast bowler was wayward with little zip in his run-up or deliveries. That the likes of Niroshan Dickwella and Fakhar Zaman took him apart reveals a lot about Rabada's ineffectiveness.