World Cup 2019: 3 things that went wrong for South Africa
South Africa have started almost every single World Cup as one of the favorites since their re-entry to world cricket, but the trophy has eluded them each time. In the eight World Cups that they have participated, they have been knocked out in the semifinals four times and in the quarter-finals twice.
The group-stage exit in the ongoing World Cup is only the second instance they have crashed out of the first round. The other instance was when they misinterpreted the Duckworth-Lewis score in 2003 against Sri Lanka on home soil.
Every time there was pressure, the Proteas crumbled. The fact that they are yet to win a knockout game in World Cups has earned them the tag of 'chokers'. However, now for the first time they have avoided that tag - and in a way they would not have wanted to.
Languishing at ninth spot with just a single win (against the bottom-placed Afghanistan) from seven games, South Africa are having their worst World Cup till date. With games against Sri Lanka and Australia left, the chances of the Proteas adding any more points to their tally look slim.
So what exactly went wrong for the side which had in-form players and a well-balanced squad at the start of the tournament? Here is a detailed analysis:
The Proteas had to deal with a setback even before the tournament started. Anrich Nortje, touted to be a surprise package, was ruled out, and Chris Morris was named as the replacement.
Dale Steyn, the pace spearhead for the Proteas for more than a decade now, had returned to the squad after facing recurring injuries in the previous three years. However, a shoulder injury forced him to skip the first game against England and by the third game, he was ruled out of the tournament.
Lungi Ngidi too got injured during the match against Bangladesh and was ruled out for a few games. South Africa faced India with three of their first choice pacers down with injury. As a result, Kagiso Rabada did not get much support in some crucial games and they ended up on the losing side.
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