ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Did not expect South Africa to choke against India, writes Harbhajan Singh

The manner in which India's bowlers operated in the first 10 overs was the perfect example of how not to give away cheap runs.

FP Sports, Jun, 12 2017

It was perfect Sunday for Team India. We got things right from the start by winning the toss and electing to bowl. It was important to put South Africa under pressure. The manner in which India's bowlers operated in the first 10 overs was the perfect example of how not to give away cheap runs.

It was a game in which the desire to win mattered a lot, and South Africa simply did not turn up. Its approach and intent wasn't positive and that essentially played a very crucial role in the way it lost. It needed to rise to the occasion and it just didn't do that.

At the international level, the margin for error is always minimal, and South Africa did not play the big moments well. Not only did its batting unit suffer a collective failure, but it also made silly mistakes, thereby, allowing India to control the game.

Jasprit Bumrah was the Man of the Match. AP

Jasprit Bumrah was the Man of the Match. AP

You don't see three run-outs in an innings that often. Dismissing AB de Villiers and David Miller with their brilliant fielding, Team India enjoyed a huge boost in confidence.

I did not expect South Africa, the world's top-ranked ODI side team, to choke yet again. I thought it had shed the choker tag, but I was clearly wrong. I just don't understand why it falls short of expectations at the global tournaments year after year.

It was always going to be an easy chase for India, considering it had dismissed a world-class team for a paltry total of 191 runs. This was a very commendable feat and special credit must go to the likes of

Jasprit Bumrah, who was just fantastic. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the spinners also chipped in when it mattered.

It was a fantastic bowling effort from India. The pacers did a great job by bowling dot balls in the first 10 overs. It surely must have made South Africa go on the back foot. That effort went a long way in helping India dominate South Africa on the day.

Talking about the batting department, Shikhar Dhawan just keeps getting better with every outing in this tournament. You can expect the likes of Virat Kohli to come and keep things steady right till the end, especially when the team is chasing. Just like last Sunday, this was a 10-on-10 performance.

Kohli and de Villiers are teammates in the Indian Premier League, playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, but you can tell how apart they are right from the manner in which they approach games.

Kohli's intent has always been so positive. It shows when he steps on to the field. On the other hand, you just don't see that from de Villiers. This is where Kohli beats him. And such things do matter, even more so when you're the captain of the side. The team catches on to such vibes and that's what separates a winning team from the rest.

Despite the defeat, South Africa is still a very good, quality side. All it needs to do is get together and believe in itself. It needs to change its approach like how England did after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. You can see how expressive its game has become since then.

South Africa needs to come up with a plan and figure out why it doesn’t perform well in major tournaments. It is a quality side, but sadly it doesn’t play as well as India and the other big guns. That needs to change if it is to win anything major in the future.


This article is written by former India bowler Harbhajan Singh and was originally published on www.icc-cricket.com

Published Date: Jun 12, 2017 | Updated Date: Jun 12, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4497 105
4 New Zealand 3114 97
5 Australia 3294 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 5266 117
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115