Champions Trophy 2017 | How and when India won against South Africa

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Champions Trophy 2017 | How and when India won against South Africa

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SportsCafe Desk


India secured an eight-wicket victory over South Africa to enter the semi-finals of the CT keeping their title defence hopes alive. But even before the halfway mark of the game, it was clear that the match was a tactical blunder by the Proteas. Here is a look at how India secured the dominating win.

Staying to a particular length help Indian pacers

By just looking at the pitch maps of the Indian bowlers, one can see the disciplined performance that the duo were able to muster. The seamers picked up the good length area as their preferred zone of attack instead of bowling at random lengths as there was hardly any indication of lateral movement with the new ball. However, sticking to tidy channels, the Indian pace duo ensured a slow start for the Proteas and bowled cross-seam deliveries continuously to keep the South African openers on their toes. When called upon later, the duo just ran through the South African tail to restrict the Proteas to a sub-par score.

 © Jasprit Bumrah Bowling map
 ©Bhuvneshwar Kumar Bowling map © ICC

South African batsmen failed to emulate de Kock’s trait

Before coming into the match, de Kock averaged an incredible 74.11 against India, which includes five hundreds. After a patchy start to the Champions Trophy, he couldn’t have fancied facing any better opponents than India to make a big score in this tournament. Both Kumar and Bumrah contained de Kock well, not allowing him to free his arms, by pitching the ball at the good length outside off stump area. He struggled to pick those lengths but unlike his other teammates, he stood tall and waited for the loose deliveries to hit and ended up scoring a respectable 53 off 72 balls. Had the lower and middle-order taken some inspiration from the 24-year old, tyhe South Africans would not have lost the last eight wickets for just 51 runs.

 Quinton de Kock was the only bright spot in South African innings © ICC

Ashwin proves his value, yet again

For a spinner, the best way to find success on these type of flat wickets is to pitch the way full and allow the batsman to play on his front foot as often as possible. He also bowled slower through the air to make the most of the dry wicket and ended up confusing the South Africans which was summed up the way Amla perished to the ace Indian offie. Understanding that Amla was going for cut against the breeze, he pitched the ball at the full length, which turned away a bit and the opener took the bait and gave MS Dhoni a simple catch. It was one of the many things Ashwin, who rose to the occasion to become the crisis manager for the Indian team, got right, yet again.   

Ashwin mixed up the deliveries really well © ICC

India’s agility on the field does half the job

The rise and rise of the Indian fielding unit has continued to be a talking point over the last one year or so, with the fielders showing off their best at times when the team needs it the most. In the last three matches, the Indian fielders have chipped in with six important wickets, out of total 23 wickets they have picked in the tournament so far. At the end of the day, more often than not, it has been turning out to be the difference. 

The Dhawan-Kohli combination augurs well for Indian success

South Africa knew how dangerous the Indian top order is once they going and what added insult to injury was the fact that that they were defending a modest 192 runs. If the bowlers could have imposed themselves and applied pressure on the duo of Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, they might have fancied their chances. But instead, they allowed Kohli to settle by putting the ball on his favourable spot - good length and on the stumps - which Kohli was more than happy to flick away. Only Kagiso Rabada, powered by his pace and ability to breach the defence, was able to hold on Kohli, against whom the Indian skipper only managed to score seven runs off 23 balls. Dhawan, on the other hand, kept his brilliant run going and hardly looked troubled against the South African pacers. Their partnership nicely set-up India’s victory and took them to their fifth Champions Trophy semi-finals.

 Shikhar Dhawan's pitch Map © ICC 
  Virat Kohli's pitch map © ICC 

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