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World Cup 2019: 3 reasons why South Africa deserve to be eliminated

ANALYST
Feature
1.95K   //    20 Jun 2019, 13:59 IST

Three World Cups, three consecutive losses- South Africa have found their bogey team in New Zealand.
Three World Cups, three consecutive losses- South Africa have found their bogey team in New Zealand.

Heartbreak, World Cup, South Africa. These three apparently unrelated terms have all become inherently related over the years.

More often than not, the Proteas enter the quadrennial showpiece event as one of the favorites to clinch it. But every time, they find ways to eliminate themselves, often in majorly dramatic ways that have led to them being given the tag of chokers.

Who can forget that gut-wrenching exit in 1999 after a titanic struggle against Australia, a tournament where Lance Klusener almost took them to the trophy single-handedly? Or the 2003 Duckworth Lewis fiasco where miscalculation robbed them of progress to the next round on home soil?

Shock exits like the one in 1996 in the quarterfinal stage to West Indies, or the bizarre rain-rule elimination in 1992, have all added to the chokers narrative over the years. South Africa, the team that has it all except for the mentality to win the really big games - that's how it's been in World Cups.

Add to that the two close knockout defeats to New Zealand in successive World Cups, and you have a complete story.

However, come 2019, there were hardly any expectations surrounding them despite having a fairly capable team placed high in the ICC rankings. Proteas fans must have been hoping that the lack of pressure might finally help the team fulfill their potential at the biggest stage.

They were wrong. Defeats against all the major nations have almost ensured that the South Africans have achieved the ignominy of an extremely early exit.

However, they have only themselves and their personnel (more on that later!) to blame, and they deserve to go home at the earliest. Here's why.

1. Shoddy in the field

One thing that the Proteas have been always brilliant at is their fielding prowess. Modern fielding techniques and attitudes originated with one man, Jonty Rhodes; he is the only player, to date, who could claim selection by dint of his fielding abilities.

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South Africa have maintained that glorious tradition till now, albeit with certain famous blips like Herschelle Gibbs dropping Steve Waugh in 1999. However, it all unraveled in 2019, especially in the game that mattered last night against the impressive New Zealand.

Difficult catches, easier catches and certain run outs were all missed by the Proteas, with David Miller being the unlikely villain. We also cannot forget the sitter that Miller dropped to give Rohit Sharma a reprieve in the first match; things could have been starkly different had Sharma perished in the business end of the game that day.

Even captain Faf du Plessis dropped a tough one earlier on, which would have dismissed Sharma on 1.

Clearly, the South Africans just did not turn up with the intensity that is required to win games like these.

Also read – World cup most wickets

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