Determination and character are unsung weapons that can do wonders for an individual and more so for a team. The beauty of team sport is precisely this, as ‘a never say die’ attitude pays off, as individuals flock together chasing a specific goal. A classic example is the English Premier league side of Manchester United, who were incredibly successful under Sir Alex Ferguson, adopting this method. International ODI cricket has seen numerous such instances where a team fights back from no where to achieve the ultimate success. At times they might fail, however the hard earned experience is good enough to take them through in a forthcoming daunting task. The Australian cricket team is just too good to lose, for their inherent ‘fighting’ abilities tend to over-power the circumstances of the game, helping them to push through more often than not.
However, sometimes the opposite happens as some teams manage to grab defeat from the jaws of victory, throwing away games from winning positions. South Africa, known to be perennial chokers are probably the most experienced in these matters, often losing matches they had no right to lose. Here’s a look at some such collapses in ODI history.
India vs South Africa Indore 2015
South Africa almost makes a habit of losing from winning positions and this time India were the sweet recipients. Being 1-0 up in the series, the Proteas were high on confidence and ever so after restricting a strong Indian batting line up to just 247 on the flat Holkar Stadium wicket in Indore. Getting off to a perfect start, the Proteas were cruising as Duminy fell for 36, as the score read 136/3 and AB De Villiers at the crease. However some inspired bowling from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Akshar Patel saw the explosive South African middle order collapse as they lost their remaining 9 wickets for 91 runs falling short by 22 runs. The collapse was triggered particularly by the spinners in the middle overs and a Bhunvaneshwar Kumar burst. AB Devilliers later complained that his set top order batsmen were the ones to blame for not carrying on.