ICC World Cup 2015: India vs South Africa - Quick flicks of the match
India break South African World Cup jinx. Finally!
Yes! India have finally defeated South Africa in a World Cup game, after not having done so on 3 previous occasions. After much build up to the game, with official broadcasters Star Sports coming up with an innovative advertisement motivating the Indians to take the opportunity to defeat the Proteas in the marquee event, the Men in Blue finally recorded their first victory against them with a comprehensive win, crushing AB de Villiers’ men by a mammoth margin of 130 runs.
Dhawan repays the trust shown by the Indian management
After the early run out of opener Rohit Sharma in the 3rd over of the innings, much was expected from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli to see off the new ball and take the team to safety. Dhawan, coming off a forgettable patch of form where he managed to score a mere 49 runs in the last 4 innings before the crucial 73 in the World Cup opener versus Pakistan last week, silenced all critics by scoring an aggressive 137 in 146 balls, with 16 fours and 2 sixes.
Dropped from the last Test match against Australia, the clock was ticking for the left-hander, but his match winning knock today has not only ensured that he remains an integral part of the team but also that India, in all probability, finish as leaders of Pool B.
Sachin Tendulkar makes his presence felt
No, Sachin Tendulkar wasn’t hitting his customary cover drives at the MCG during the match between India and South Africa, yet there was no stopping the 80,000 strong crowd from erupting into chants of “Sachin, Sachin”. Reason? The most successful batsman of the event with 2278 runs in 6 editions of the tournament had made his way to the historic ground to catch the match between the two teams after the ICC had declared him the Brand Ambassador of this edition of the World Cup.
The on-field proceedings were forgotten for a while during the first innings, as thunderous applauses greeted the Master Blaster every time he appeared on the big screen, sending fans into a tizzy whenever he waved at them. A lucky few even managed to click selfies with the Mumbaikar and it is true when they say that legends retire but are never forgotten.
Of middle order collapses
After India romped to 261-2 in 43 overs, a mini collapse of sorts threatened to undo all the hard work done by the top order batsmen, as they lost 5 wickets in the span of 41 runs, with the final score looking short against a well balanced South African team.
In the run chase, de Villiers and Faf du Plessis steadied the innings with a 68-run partnership for the 3rd wicket after the openers were dismissed early. However, just like their opponents, the South African middle order failed to capitalise, scoring 44 runs with the loss of 6 wickets, which eventually led to their downfall.
MCG turns into ‘mini India’
On one look, one would have expected this to be a home game for the Indian team. Australia, roughly 9459 km from New Delhi, was filled with Indian supporters cheering and applauding every run scored and wicket taken. The capacity crowd only had pockets of South African supporters, who tried to make their presence felt but in vain, getting drowned in the chants of the “Swami Army”. Spin legend Shane Warne, who was commentating on the game, even went on to quip that the stadium looked something like ‘Mini India’.