Friday, 19 June 2009

South Africa's Loss Not A Big Issue

Well most of the viewers of the first T20 final of the ongoing T20 world cup between South Africa and Pakistan would be cursing the South African players for getting eliminated yet again from a mega event after being unbeaten until then in the tournament. However, if one would ask me regarding the same, I say that there was nothing official in the South Africa's defeat over Pakistan. The T20 format of the game itself is like that. This is no test or an one day international match for anyone to expect something like this. Nothing can be taken for granted in this game's format.

South Africa have never been the favourites of the T20 world cup. Not even after the wins against say West Indies, New Zealand or even India for that matter was convincing in this tournament. The win against the West Indies saw the West Indies' batting dominated only by one batsman who scored 77. It was a 1 run win for the Proteas against New Zealand. Agreed that a win is a win irrespective of the margin of the same whatsoever. The only convincing victory for South Africa was against England where the Proteas could breathe easy after their 7 wicket win. They never faced either Australia, Sri Lanka or Pakistan to prove their myth in this world cup.

Rather than taking conclusions from their previous losses at crucial stages of any ICC sponsored mega events, it would be better for one to take into consideration the way the South Africans have played their game off late and where they stand in the T20 ratings. They were placed well below Australia, India and England in the latest T20 ratings. On the other hand, Pakistan played better cricket comparitively if not for their losses against Sri Lanka and England. The game of cricket is not only about winning or losing but the way the players show their class in the game. And when it came to class, the Pakistan were way ahead of South Africa.

It would not be right to say that the Proteas got carried away after their success until then. Despite losing to England and Sri Lanka back to back, Pakistan never let the opposition cut loose and pulled a one sided victory from Ireland and New Zealand. Both the teams were no where in the picture when Umar Gul sent devastating spells and Shahid Afridi got the ball to turn. There was Gibbs, De Villiars and Morkel who could have done the job for the Proteas which was not the case. And what sort of a team is South Africa who could not contain a part time bowler like Afridi? It was the losses against England & Sri Lanka that made Pakistan wake up from sleep and the victories for South Africa to only remain temperory favourites.

I think that South Africa did deserve to lose and Pakistan to advance to the finals for the second time in a T20 world cup.

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