Sourav Ganguly reckons South Africa were mentally weak against 'remarkable' India

Sourav Ganguly reckons South Africa were mentally weak against ‘remarkable’ India

Having defeated South Africa in a virtual quarter final, India take on Bangladesh in the semis.

Sourav Ganguly
Former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was all praises after the Indian Team’s ‘remarkable’ victory over South Africa in the ICC Champions Trophy. Both teams battled it out in what was a virtual quarter-final in Group B, and India brought their A game into play to blow the Proteas away.

Defending champions India were clinical in their bowling as well as on the field and were also aided by some horrible mix-ups by the South African batsmen. India’s seamers restricted the Proteas to 191 in the first innings, and in the end got to the target comfortably with 12 overs to spare. India will thus play Bangladesh in the second semi-final of the Champions Trophy, and Ganguly reckons the Tigers will have a tough job ahead.

India were too professional

“South Africa were mentally weak here and against Pakistan as well. It was a remarkable performance by India. India were too professional. In terms of quality, South Africa were a better team in these conditions but their performance were very poor. Bangladesh will find it very hard to control this team,” Ganguly was quoted as saying to India Today.

However, Dada also believed Bangladesh will put in a better performance against India. The second semi-final will be a rematch of the 2015 World Cup quarter-final, which India won convincingly. Most recently, the Men in Blue defeated Bangladesh in the Asia Cup final, and also won a thrilling game in the 2016 World T20 at Bengaluru.

Bangladesh weaker than SA on paper

“On paper, Bangladesh are a weaker team than South Africa but will probably pull up a better fight because they have a good batting lineup, they play spin well and their bowlers have done well. But I am not too sure if they are strong enough to beat this rampaging Indian team,” Ganguly said.

India got breakthroughs at regular intervals against South Africa, and in reply, cantered to an 8-wicket victory courtesy of steady knocks by Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli. In the bowling department, it was the pacers who did the bulk of the work, with Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar picking up 2 wickets each. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya got one apiece.

The match also witnessed a reunion of sorts for India’s spin twin Jadeja and Ashwin. Ganguly praised the duo, who once again combined to restrict the run-scoring. “With Ashwin at the other end, Jadeja also bowls well. It was a dry pitch. When you see one spinner bowl well, the other spinner also bowls well,” he said.

The India-Bangladesh semi-final is to be played on June 15 at Edgbaston. England awaits the winner between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the other semi-final, which is slated to be played in Cardiff.