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India thrash South Africa to enter Champions Trophy semi-final in style

13 June 2017

South Africa's Champions Trophy exit has caused them less grief than their 2015 World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand because, rather than dominate the pool stage, they stumbled through in the ongoing tournament.

Much of the criticism of South Africa's performance in an event in which they lost two of their three games has focused on De Villiers' captaincy‚ some of it probably related to him scoring only 20 runs in three innings.

"In 2015, I sat afterwards and I was extremely disappointed". The target was achieved on the last delivery of the 38th over itself to bring an end to a rather one-sided affair.

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Three of the four teams in the semi-finals are from the sub-continent, with hosts England being the only exception. Read Also: Poor running from Proteas and brilliant bowling effort take India into semisSmith said what was on display yesterday was a "cautious style of play that seems to lack the intent".

"As a team, we're always very aggressive". On the other hand, South Africa have failed to perform well under pressure and have found themselves out of the tournament earlier than expected on numerous occasions. "These are the players. So is the same for South Africa, as well".

Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews (captain), Asela Gunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep.

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Over the past few years, India have always managed pressure extremely well and got the right result when it mattered most. Saying that "he was a good captain", de Villiers saw him leading South Africa in the 2019 ICC World Cup, also in the UK.

Du Plessis said after the India defeat: "It's so hard to put all this pressure on AB and nearly blame him". Direct questions from the South African press like, "should you remain captain?", and "does South Africa need radical changes?" clearly hint that all is not well with the South Africans and de Villiers's future as ODI skipper is already facing a media trial. "I know him very well, and the 10 overs that saw him involved with the run-outs before getting out himself will not sit well with him". "The side have been missing that spark, or that intensity to their play that characterises South Africa cricket.The positivity to our play and the energy that we've come to expect from this group of players just hasn't been there", he lamented. Pakistan bowlers, except for Mohammad Amir, were hammered by the top-order Indian batsmen but they made amends against South Africa whose batting line-up has several match-winners like A B de Villiers and Hashim Amla. "Today was a team performance", a satisfied looking India captain said.

Du Plessis and De Kock also had a steady partnership of 40 runs for the second wicket before things went all awry.

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