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Champions Trophy 2017: Graeme Smith Lashes Out at South Africa After India Defeat

PTI |June 12, 2017, 4:35 PM IST
Champions Trophy 2017: Graeme Smith Lashes Out at South Africa After India Defeat

London: Dismayed by South Africa's capitulation, former skipper Graeme Smith said the Proteas were simply "unrecognisable" during their timid loss to India in the do-or-die Champions Trophy clash.

South Africa were hammered by eight wickets in the virtual quarterfinal match, in which they could only post 191 after being invited to bat.

"I still care deeply about the environment that I spent so much time building as a player, and it hurts to see such an unrecognisable South Africa performance," Smith wrote in his column for the ICC's official website.

Also Read: India vs South Africa, Waiting For Godot: The Story of South African Cricket

"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.

Smith said what was on display on Sunday was a "cautious style of play that seems to lack the intent".

"What I would have liked to have seen from the guys at the top of the order is, at least, an attempt to put Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar under pressure. Anything to put them off their game and bring their plans in to question," he said.

"Our approach was far more conservative, and if you're going to play that way, you can't afford the calamities that unfolded in terms of the two mid-innings run outs. They will kill any momentum you have, and suck the energy from a dressing room," he opined.

Praising India's tactics, Smith said Virat Kohli and his men showed what it is like playing positive cricket.

Also Read: 'You Have To Say Things That Hurt', Kohli's Brutal Honesty Helped India

"Today, those key moments in the game where you look for someone to take the initiative just seemed to pass South Africa by. India played the game with more intensity, it took more risks and stuck to its method and game formula far better than the South Africa team," he explained.

"Mindset, and your approach to the game, are those one percent factors that make the difference at this level. When those factors are not there, you pay the price and it's the team's approach that has been the missing ingredient," he added.

Smith said India are now favourites to be in the finals. The defending champions will square off against Bangladesh in their next match.

"...and we've seen from its record at tournaments previously that it almost revel in the pressure of those occasions," he said.

Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
IND
9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
2
AUS
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
3
ENG
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
4
NZ
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
5
PAK
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
6
SL
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
7
SA
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
8
BAN
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9
WI
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
10
AFG
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more