At the end of the match between India and South Africa, you can’t blame AB de Villiers, the greatest cricketer of his generation and the best ever to have played for South Africa, if had felt that the world was against him.
AB is one of the rare foreign cricketers who is universally popular even in India. In India, the crowd starts chanting his name – “ABD! ABD!” every time he turns out for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. Indeed, they cheer for him even when he plays for South Africa.
But truth be told, Indian fans wanted to win this game desperately, even if that came at the expense of their favorite overseas player. That was what they got.
The Indian team were calm and composed while the South Africans looked desperate and scared of defeat. It was shambolic running between the wickets that did them in.
Faf du Plessis, who everyone wants to take over from AB de Villiers as the captain, was to blame for two of the run outs. He ran out the captain and his best mate AB first, calling for a suicidal run. And then went on to run out David Miller.
That was terrible from Faf and this is not the first time he has done that. AB and Faf have been involved in 7 run outs together before. It’s hard to imagine because they are both supreme athletes, incredibly fast between the wickets and best friends off the field.
South Africa went from 140 for 2 to 192 all out. It was a disastrous performance. They hate the tag “chokers” that has been associated with them forever. But can that be denied? They have always choked in an ICC tournament and this was just another occasion.
Indians had it easy. They put up a brilliant bowling performance led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and finished off with two smashing innings from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. It was a faultless performance from the Indians. They will now take on Bangladesh in the semi-final at Birmingham.
What about the great AB de Villiers? AB looked completely devastated at the post-match conference. He defended himself saying that he would still want to lead South Africa in the 2019 World Cup.
AB was forced to defend himself and his record as a captain. He told the angry South African media: “Because I’m a good captain. And I can take this team forward. I can take us to win a World Cup, I believe. I believed the same thing over here in this tournament and the last one here but that’s what I believe. I love doing it.”
He was asked about what his team got wrong. AB said, “I felt the team was pretty composed today. I don’t think we lost it there with composure. A few errors of judgement, a few mistakes out there cost us badly today. It’s not going to do with composure in my eyes. I felt pretty calm with the team all the time. We played some good shots and then just a couple of bad, errors of judgement out there cost us.”
AB de Villiers is a good man, the most popular man in cricket. But he is probably not cut out to be the captain of the South African team.