De Villiers confident of leading South Africa in 2019 World Cup

Champions Trophy 2017
Sri Lanka's Dhananjaya de Silva throws a ball during a practice session during the ICC Champions Trophy
Author

12 June, 2017

He won three Ashes series and spearheaded England's historic series victory in India in 2012.

This team has had a shocking run with injuries: Angelo Mathews missed the first game; Danushka Gunathilaka came into the squad one day before the match against India, where he scored 76; they lost one Perera (Kusal) when he injured himself on 47 during the last game, and two days out from this game, the other Perera (Thisara) got hit on the head (he's now okay).

South Africa responded with back-to-back maiden overs but consecutive boundaries for Dhawan just about kept India on course.

Virat Kohli was unbeaten on 76.

Defending champions India here on Sunday rode on a superb display by their bowlers to thump South Africa by eight wickets and become the first team from Group B to enter the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy cricket tournament. In a short, no holds barred tournament, South Africa failed to recover from that jolt.

South Africa might have sniffed a chance but out came Virat Kohli to join Dhawan in the middle.

"The basic plan was that since the ball was not swinging too much, we were just trying to bowl good, hard lengths", he revealed.

The Proteas had got off to a solid start. "It's very sad obviously", said De Villiers.

Hashim Amla was very watchful, escaping an early run-out attempt as he toiled for runs before falling for 35 off 54 balls. This time too Du Plessis was in the thick of things.

His fourth Champions Trophy didn't work out, but that hasn't stopped him looking forward to what he hopes will be his fourth Cricket World Cup in 2019, back in England.

"When the opportunity comes your way, you have to grab it". "I must be very honest with you. I wouldn't like to blame guys".

Dhawan crunched Morris over mid-on for his eighth four to reach his 50 and the left-hander played some brutal strokes before he skied Tahir to Du Plessis at long-off. He couldn't rally the tail, and the innings finished, appropriately, on a run out. In an interview to BCCI TV earlier this year in January, Kohli said "Dhoni guided me when I initially started playing worldwide cricket".

"When you get two run outs pretty quickly, the mindset totally changes".

"Our bowlers bowled really well and the fielders backed it up".

The South Africans were frustrated by spinners Jadeja, who took 1-39 from his 10 overs without conceding a boundary, and Ashwin, playing his first one-day global since January because of the left-handers in South Africa's lineup.

They were able to rest easy in the clubhouse while the top-order batsmen took care of business before a sell-out crowd of 22,828. With the pitch doing little and the pressure of the scoreboard non-existent, India stayed blessed, leaving South Africa, especially the captain, with many questions to answer. But they made little impact.


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