What’s the Story?
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly opened up about what went wrong for South Africa against India in the penultimate group B match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Speaking to India Today, Ganguly felt that India were remarkable in their victory against the Proteas.
"South Africa were mentally weak here and against Pakistan as well. It was a remarkable performance by India. In terms of quality, South Africa were a better team in these conditions but their performance were very poor,” said Ganguly.
“On paper, Bangladesh are a weaker team than South Africa but will probably pull up a better fight because they have a good batting lineup, they play spin well and their bowlers have done well. But I am not too sure if they are strong enough to beat this rampaging Indian team," he continued.
In case you didn’t know...
Led by Virat Kohli, the Men in Blue decimated South Africa by 8 wickets to book a place in the semifinals against Bangladesh. The bowlers and fielders put on a fantastic display to dismiss South Africa for 191 in their first innings. From 116-1, South Africa lost nine wickets for 75 runs with three run outs occurring in the process including the run-out of AB de Villiers and David Miller.
The Indian batsmen ensured no hiccups during their chase and achieved the target with more than 12 overs to spare. Dhawan and Kohli scored 78 and 76 respectively to help take India over the line.
Unfortunately, South Africa have always “choked” on the big stage in major ICC events over the years. Despite being ranked no. 1 in the ICC ODI rankings, they failed to go past the group stage this year as well. ABD had his captaincy questioned but ensured that he has no plans of giving up his captaincy anytime soon and would like to continue playing until the 2019 World Cup.
South Africa will fly back home while the Indian cricket team will take on The Tigers in the semifinal in Birmingham on June 15.
Ganguly, who is in England as a commentator in the Champions Trophy was quite right in his assessment of the India-South Africa encounter.
Over the past few years, India have always managed pressure extremely well and got the right result when it mattered most. On the other hand, South Africa have failed to perform well under pressure and have found themselves out of the tournament earlier than expected on numerous occasions.