De Villiers defiant as South Africa choke again


A general view of play during the ICC Champions trophy cricket match between India and South Africa at The Oval in London.

India join England and Bangladesh in the semi-finals, with the remaining place in the last four going to the victor of Monday's Group B meeting between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Former South African captain Graeme Smith on Monday expressed disappointment over the Proteas' loss against India which knocked them out of the ongoing Champions Trophy cricket tournament.

Replays showed no contact with the bat before Bumrah's full toss hit Phehlukwayo's back leg to send him packing for four before Kagiso Rabada (five) swiftly joined his team-mate back in the pavilion having been caught by Dhoni off the bowling of Kumar.

Losing a game against the islanders was a huge set back and introspection was necessary to chart out their survival in the tournament, "You have to be honest".

"We have tried quite a few things, camps and psychologists, whatever you want to call it". The game against Pakistan was a very inconsistent performance as well.

"All of the bowlers executed their plan so well in such a big game and to be able to bowl like that against a batting line up of their ability, we can feel confident and would like to take it forward into the semis".

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And the skipper believes the players need to develop tough skin if they are to succeed at this level.

Virat Kohli finished unbeaten on 75 but praised his bowlers and the team's fielding efforts and maintained his side appear to be peaking at the right time. You can not be complacent or take any team lightly. "They hesitate going for their shots, we got them attacking fielders, and we asked the bowlers to make them play hard shots". "All in all, it hasn't been a good tournament for us", du Plessis said. It was still part of our pool games, so that's the one area that's a bit different, but it was still a must-win game. "Today was a team performance", said the satisfied skipper Kohli.

They were bowled out for just 74 by England in a group match in Adelaide before rain spared Pakistan a defeat that would have stopped them getting to the semi-finals.

"Its (South Africa's) approach and intent wasn't positive and that essentially played a very crucial role in the way it lost". "Maybe some of the teams have really surprised the opposition with the way they have batted and bowled in certain situations".

Faf du Plessis insists under-fire captain AB de Villiers should not be held responsible for South Africa's exit from the ICC Champions Trophy.

"It was always going to be an easy chase for India, considering it had dismissed a world-class team for a paltry total of 191 runs". "You don't see three run-outs in an innings that often".