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Don't remember South Africa being outplayed like this in a long, long time: Sourav Ganguly

Alagappan V
6.05K   //    23 Feb 2015, 14:54 IST
Sourav Ganguly surprised at the ease with which India won the game 

Sourav Ganguly has lauded Indian cricket team’s efforts against South Africa in the Pool B World Cup match yesterday saying that he has never seen South Africa being outplayed to that extent in a long, long time. South Africa, one of the title contenders, were handed a 130-run thrashing by India in front of a record 86,876 thousand people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. 

The former Indian captain, speaking to PTI, said: "I don't remember South Africa being outplayed like this in a long long time. The moment India past 250 run mark, I was confident India will win.”

‘Dhawan showed great temperament’ 

Shikhar Dhawan’s spectacular 146-ball 137 helped India post 307 runs on the board. Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli provided valuable support to the Indian opener, scoring 79 and 46 runs respectively. In reply, the Proteas could only manage 177 and were bowled out in the 41st over.

On Dhawan finding his touch back, Ganguly said: "That innings against Pakistan has given Shikhar (Dhawan) just the kind of confidence he desperately needed and he showed great temperament to build on from where he left the other day to score a magnificent hundred."

‘Lower-middle order needs to step up’

Although India have convincingly won both the matches they have played so far, Ganguly believes that the team needs to find a way to get runs from the lower-middle order if they are to go the distance in this tournament. He said: "It is essential for the likes of Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja to find some form in the tournament.

"Largely Team India has been dependent on Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane to score runs but the contribution from India's middle order will play a crucial part as the tournament progresses." 

The lack of depth in the Proteas batting line-up came back to haunt them, Ganguly said. "It was crucial to get Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers out early as South Africa lacked depth in their batting. Wayne Parnell and Vernon Philander at number 7 and 8 meant South Africa didn't have enough depth in their batting and it cost them dearly."

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