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Every remaining game for South Africa is like knock-out now, says Jacques Kallis

Kallis also conceded that his country has made things difficult for themselves.

Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis. (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

When his team had met India in yet another game in the cricket World Cup in England 20 years ago, it was him who had guided his team to victory with a swift 96. That innings had neutralized Sourav Ganguly’s 97 and put South Africa on the track of yet another consistent performance at the game’s highest platform. Two decades later, when the Proteas met the Men in Blue in the ICC World Cup 2019 in Southampton, there was no Jacques Kallis to come to Faf du Plessis’ side and they lost the game by 6 wickets – the third on the trot that has put the team in a danger zone.

Kallis, who has over 25,000 runs and 570 wickets in international cricket, though has found nothing wrong in India’s clinical show against his country. The former ace all-rounder who does coaching for Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders these days, has even called Virat Kohli’s men “real contenders” for the World Cup title this year after the win at Ageas Bowl. Besides, he has also urged South Africa not to surrender to their fate yet.

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South African middle-order clearly missed Kallis’ expertise on Wednesday as the Indian bowlers polished half their side off for just 89 before some cameos from David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada helped them post a far better total of 227 for 9. However, a gritty 122 not out from opener Rohit Sharma took India home with six wickets and 15 balls to spare.

‘India were very impressive’

“Away from South Africa I thought India looked world-class and real contenders. They’ve obviously been waiting for their first game and I didn’t know how that would work for them, whether they’d be fresh or they’d be some nerves. I think we got the answer, they were very impressive,” Kallis wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council.

Kallis also conceded that his country has made things difficult for themselves and would have to treat their remaining six league games virtually as knockout games. He said they should have no complaints with the result against India as they were outclassed in all departments. He added that the Proteas’ dressing room will be a tough place to be in and that they have to take all responsibility and work hard to rectify their mistakes.

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