I don’t think anyone really knows how South Africa does this !…of always and unfailingly choking in their first Knockout Phase Match in World Cup Cricket after winning nearly all of their League matches…it’s as if they just give up when faced with a situation that if they lose the match they are knocked out !….Pressure…Character…Temperament….Big Match Psychology…Coping with History….all being tested….and South Africa repeatedly failing….they may enjoy the reputation of being a superbly professional,clinical and well knit side in all departments of the game…with some individual world best too…like Allrounder Kallis and Pacer Dale Steyn…… but today’s loss once again raised the question that in Big Matches it goes beyond being just clinically and professionally brilliant…you need emotion and passion too in abundance
Today at Mirpur in Bangladesh Favourites and Group B Champions,South Africa lost to underdogs and Group A fourth ranked New Zealand in the third Quarter Finals of the 2011 World Cup….they were chasing a modest and gettable 222 to win and were comfortably placed at 108 for 2….and inexplicably they slumped to 146 for 8 before winding up for 172 in the 44th Over !
This is not to take anything away from the gritty New Zealanders….Vettori returned to captain the side and the Team fielded superbly…Man of the Match , 6 +Footer Jacob Oram timing his jump brilliantly while taking a blinder at the fence to send back Kallis and going on to take 4 wickets too
NZ move on to Colombo for the Semi Finals on Tuesday,March 29,2011…they will take on the winners of the last QF tomorrow between fancied Sri Lanka and underdogs England…will underdogs prevail tomorrow too!?
In fact India play Pakistan at Mohali in the second Semi Finals on Wednesday,March 30,2011….so we would know who we shall face in the Finals if…no ! When we beat Pakistan….because just as World Cup History has shown that Losing becomes a Habit…South Africa choking everytime…..Winning too becomes a Habit…India has always beaten Pakistan in the World Cup
Next two Matches at Colombo…a QF tomorrow and a SF coming Tuesday….then Mohali on Wednesday for the second Semis and then Mumbai for the Finals on Saturday , April 2,2011
Next should be an action packed Cricketing Week as the World Cup comes to an end after 43 days…it began on February 19,2011 with India and Sehwag thrashing Bangladesh…it will end on April 2,2011 with India and both Sehwag and Sachin on his home ground thrashing whoever of NZ,Sri Lanka or England for Dhoni to lift the 2011 World Cup…only the second in ten editions…1983 was the first when Kapil Dev was Captain