India put in an all-round shift today to seal their place in the semi-finals against Bangladesh. The comprehensive win put Virat Kohli’s team in pole position at the top of Group B in the Champions Trophy. India thoroughly dominated the game completely and seem to have found that vigour that was missing against the Sri Lankans. Here are five things that India did better than South Africa today:
- Bowled to perfection:
India had laid out specific plans for the South African batsmen and went on to implement them successfully. The inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin made a huge impact as he picked up the important wicket of Hashim Amla and set India on their way. Even Bhuvneshwar Kumar was able to contain Quinton de Kock while Jasprit Bumrah was firing superbly from the other end. South Africa ultimately were forced to play risky shots and threw away their wickets.
- Superb fielding
The Indians had a splendid day at the field today, responding brilliantly after the last game versus Sri Lanka. They stifled the South African batsmen and kept them in check throughout the first innings. The fielders, especially Jadeja, Kohli and Pandya all effected some superb run-outs that were a result of the pressure placed on the batsmen. Dhoni too did what he did best to take the bails off in a flash and end AB De Villiers run in the tournament.
- Negotiated the first few overs well
India was able to negotiate the first few overs against the likes of Rabada and Morkel really well. Despite the windy conditions, India stuck to their plan and began slow before unleashing their prowess on the bowlers. Imran Tahir was just not allowed to get a sniff and Dhawan and Kohli punished him and the others. Kohli especially played a classical restrained ODI innings keeping in mind the short target to chase.
- Dhawan and Kohli are in top form
Despite Rohit Sharma’s failure today, Kohli and Dhawan batted in perfect sync to win India the game. Kohli, who fell to a ball outside the off stump against Sri Lanka, was a lot more careful and allowed himself all the time in the world to get used to the pitch. Dhawan meanwhile, continued his love affair with England and the Champions Trophy to smash yet another half century, peppered with many boundaries and a towering six.
- Never left their foot off the pedal
Right from the onset, India came out positively to win the game. The players were able to focus on what was important and were disciplined in all departments. The pressure was never off and the South Africans once again crashed out thanks to their inability to show up in crunch matches. India just wanted the win even more badly and set out to do just that. If this is the same India that shows up against Bangladesh, it will be hard to bet against them losing.