India punish sloppy bowling by Proteas
The Proteas conceded 91 runs in the first 10 overs, while Marco Jansen’s first one contained eight wides
Kolkata — The dominant theory about SA’s inability to chase will continue to follow them at this World Cup after Sunday’s comprehensive 243-run defeat to India, but it wasn’t a loss that resulted from bad batting.
It was SA’s worst defeat in terms of runs, eclipsing the 182-run defeat to Pakistan in 2002, while the final total of 83 all out, was the joint second-lowest yet in an ODI.
SA lost this match with the ball. All India did when it was their turn to bowl, was show even more how desperately poor the Proteas had performed in the afternoon. Mohammad Siraj, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah relentlessly attacked the stumps, got the new ball moving and by the time the first power play was completed, SA had lost three wickets for 35 runs.
Compare that to SA, who conceded 91 in the first 10 overs, 74 of those runs coming in boundaries while Marco Jansen’s first over contained eight wides — five of which went to the boundary. India bowled just two in the SA innings.
It was an adherence to the basics that SA could only dream about. Shami was simply mesmerising — again — destroying Aiden Markram in a five ball set that was reminiscent of the job he did on him in the Test at Centurion between these teams two years ago. That dismissal briefly cost Markram his Test spot.
That won’t happen to him in this tournament, but this was a chastening experience for a batting unit that had lorded it over everyone else — bar the Netherlands — in the past few weeks.
India is playing dreamy cricket. Their batting looks imposing, with Virat Kohli providing this raucous audience with exactly what it wanted by notching the 49th hundred of his stellar ODI career, tying his idol Sachin Tendulkar’s mark. The quest for 50, is likely to dominate the news here as much as India’s pursuit of the World Cup itself.
Their bowling has no weaknesses. Bumrah is deadly accurate and can move the ball both ways off the surface, Siraj is rapid and aggressive and Shami is a magician. It seems incredible that he only got a starting spot at this tournament after Hardik Pandya’s injury. He now has 16 wickets after playing in only four matches.
Ravindra Jadeja, who blasted an unbeaten 29 off 15 balls, helping Kohli through the latter stages of his innings, picked up 5/33 with the ball, his mix of fast finger spin proving too much for the South Africans.
As for the Proteas, they will need the four days they have off before playing Afghanistan in Ahmedabad to get this loss out of their system. As much as they will recognise India’s brilliance, through Kohli and Shreyas Iyer with the bat, there will also be an understanding that they gave India too many freebies with the ball.
They didn’t look like the second-best team in the tournament as the points table still has them, and plenty of hard work awaits as their minds inevitably turn to the semifinal, which will probably be played at this venue on November 16.
This was the second bad bowling performance of the tournament, after that dreadful final 10 overs against the Dutch in Dharamsala. In that match the wheels came off at the end of the innings; here they just weren’t attached.
Only Keshav Maharaj, who conceded 30 runs and no boundaries in his 10 overs — all bowled in one spell — and Kagiso Rabada, who took the first wicket, of Rohit Sharma, provided Temba Bavuma with any semblance of control.
The rest were wayward in the extreme, with the Proteas conceding 26 extras, 22 of them wides. Tabraiz Shamsi, who replaced Gerald Coetzee in the starting team, bowled seven wides.
Such ill-discipline is unacceptable, and harsh words must be exchanged in the next few days as they unpack this defeat. What they did demonstrate after the Dutch defeat was how to apply the lessons they had learnt. They’ll have to do so again in the next 10 days.
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