What's up, South Africa? No, seriously.
The side that once boasted of Jonty Rhodes, who was instrumental in placing the importance of fielding on par with batting and bowling in international cricket, looked ordinary when they took the field against India at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Wednesday.
Rhodes, along with Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers, displayed extreme athleticism and their superman-like acrobatics in South African jersey made them a cricket nation feared by many.
Their departure from the side meant new athletes filling in the void they had left behind, with many eyes now shifting on to the likes of skipper Faf du Plessis and David Miller. The duo, however, disappointed everyone except Rohit Sharma with their dropped catches, who reached his stunning 23rd ODI century after overcoming several hiccups in the way.
Although a difficult chance, Sharma was dropped once in the second over by du Plessis in the slip cordon, much to the dismay of Kagiso Rabada. Sharma was batting on 1.
South Africans were once again given the opportunity to dismiss the Indian vice-captain, this time a sitter to David Miller, while the Men in Blue were on course to their first victory in the World Cup.
The incident happened in the 44th over, when Sharma top-edged a short one by Rabada to cover region. Miller, who was guarding the area, waited for an eternity to pouch the ball. He didn't. Just like the ball, the match slipped away from South Africa and the Proteas registered their third consecutive defeat in the tournament, putting them on the bottom of the points table.
With Quinton de Kock's blinder to dismiss dangerous Virat Kohli an exception, cricket fans were left disappointed by South Africa's overall poor display in the fielding department. Twitterati, including the cricket fans in India, shared their thoughts on the never-ending woes of the Proteas.
South Africa really need to work their fielding. Poor performance. No pressure to stop those singles and no words for the dropped catches. Poor absolutely poor performance. They had no will to fight. Really tough time for Faf Du Plessis#SAvsIN #ICCWorldCup2019— Waleed Arshad (@FotosByWA) June 5, 2019
South Africa don’t deserve to win because the fielding is atrocious- feel bad for Rabada though #INDvSA— A (@shesayswhat0) June 5, 2019
Haven’t ever seen a SA side field so poorly. Catches aplenty put down in 3 matches— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) June 5, 2019
WHAT A DROP. As a player who put down many like that in his career, can only feel the pain that David Miller is going through. That simply had to be taken.— Graham Bell (@gbell5) June 5, 2019
India was favourite to win today but I am disappointed in fielding of South Africa. Never seen SA showing such pathetic fielding skills in my entire life.— Suhail Farooq (@SuhailF) June 5, 2019
While Sharma's ton powered India to a six-wicket win, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal's efforts with the ball helped restrict South Africa to a modest score of 227/9.
India will meet Australia on June 9 (Sunday) at the Oval.