One can imagine the fate of a team which can hardly chase a mere target of less than two hundred runs or defend a total in excess of 300 on its home soil. Though the latter has not been the case yet with the South Africans but, the former did happen yesterday. One need not be told specially that India managed only 190 runs on the board and South Africa required just under four runs an over to end up on the winning side. And, when this task seemed tough for the hosts, their caliber in international cricket definitely needs a rethinking.
Were South Africans really the team that chased down a total of 434 against the then strongest team - Australia, who went on to win their third world cup in a row and four overall? In the initial stages of their unsuccessful run chase, South Africa showed good signs of making it a 2-0 lead which though didn't happen were not even on the cards. South Africa did maintain the required run rate of above 4 runs an over but, failed to play the complete 50 overs which would have otherwise seen them taking a 2-0 lead in the bilateral series.
Being an Indian, I would love to see my country win any match against any opposition. But, as a cricket fan, a decent and tough cricket fight is something that takes precedence. South Africa couldn't even manage what the Indians could when they lost all their ten wickets playing just above 43 overs compared to the 47 overs that India played. This once again reminds all of us the semi final match against Australia in the 1999 world cup where South Africans could not manage to chase 214 runs despite emerging as favorites throughout the tournament even higher than Australia.
This time, the situation was even more worse that, they could not even manage a tie as in the match against Australia. This time, the Proteas were playing on their home soil unlike then when they were playing in England. If the bowlers had an upperhand in the match throughout, were the bowlers as tight that they could not even let the hosts chase down a total less than two hundred? And, the bowlers involved were not Glenn McGrath or Shane Warne but some stupid Munaf Patel who is found wearing the blue uniform once in a calender year. Of course, Australia were once bowled out for 98 recently against England on their home soil and this isn't a great issue.