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De Villiers’ contribution under the spotlight

The Proteas lost their last eight wickets for just 51 runs and that left India with a modest 192-run target. All they needed was for their two senior batters – skipper AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis – to stick to the crease and build a partnership.On a day when it mattered the most, India brought their game to the fore while AB de Villiers’ men wilted under pressure, as it has been with them in high-stakes games.Sent into bat by Kohli, South Africa were bowled out for 191 in 44.3 overs.The leading run-scorer in the ongoing edition of the tournament – Shikhar Dhawan – and skipper Virat Kohli were instrumental in India’s run-chase.Spin ace Harbhajan Singh, who is one of the ICC brand ambassadors for the Champions Trophy added salt to their wounds questioning if some of their star players deserved to be called big players. I’m a good captain and I can take this team forward and win the World Cup I believe, I love doing it.”We have also been impressed as a panel by the quality of players coming through our franchise and South Africa A system”, Zondi continued. I can take us to win a World Cup, I believe. “We are asking everyone to do it and everyone is responding really well”, he said.Up in the dressing room, De Villiers sat ashen-faced and holding a pen. Virat Kohli’s boys today displayed near perfection in all departments of the game right from the beginning.South African captain AB de Villiers said. On the other hand, you just don’t see that from de Villiers. You have to lay it out in front of them that this is what we – myself included – did wrong and we need to take it on the chin and accept it and prove it.Getting those runs on the benign Oval pitch was never going to be hard, nor were India in the mood to mess it up despite losing Rohit Sharma early. South Africa will be eager to brush aside their flaws from the three-match ODI series against England and forgettable Champions Trophy campaign. “The side have been missing that spark, or that intensity to their play that characterises South Africa cricket.The positivity to our play and the energy that we’ve come to expect from this group of players just hasn’t been there”, he lamented.”We were beaten, not even by a better team; we just played our worst game of cricket in a while”.Ashwin and Jadeja may not have got too many wickets but removed openers Hashim Amla (35, 54b, 3×4, 1×6) and Quinton de Kock (53, 72 b, 4×4) after a sedate start.I believe we are very close as a unit.