Loss agains India a blessing in disguise for South Africa, says Keshav Maharaj

Written by Praveen CA

South Africa lost their semi-final match against India in their group stage match of the ODI World Cup 2023. South Africa were hammered at the Eden Gardens by 243 runs, their first loss in 5 games.

Speaking after the match, South Africa spinner Keshav Maharaj said that the loss against India could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the team before they play their semi-finals fixture. South Africa are the second team after India to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament and had been in tremendous form ahead of the India game. India, however, humbled South Africa in all departments of the game – first putting up 326/5 in a slow track of Eden Gardens and then bowling the Protea side out for 83 runs.

“I think it was a good trial run. Hopefully, they do progress further in this tournament after the semi-final. We need to just identify areas where we can get better,” Maharaj told reporters at the mixed zone on Sunday, 5 November.

India have already topped the pool and South Africa are set to finish in the top three. The two teams can only face each other in the final.

“We’ve played exceptionally well past this point here. It’s just about going back to those performances that we did, and identifying the areas in which we can score against the turning ball,” Maharaj spoke about South Africa’s weakness.

“It’s probably a good thing and a blessing in disguise for this team is just to make sure that we iron out our glitches. It’s just a good eye-opener for us to see,” the spinner talked about the game.

Maharaj said that their final group stage match of the tournament will be an ideal place to iron out their issues. South Africa face Afghanistan in their next game and against Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Noor Ahmad, South Africa will get plenty of practice against spin bowling.

“We played four good games on the bounce, so naturally there’s one game that would go wrong, not to make excuses for the performance today, but I think it’s a good idea and indication of what we need to do better going forward in this tournament, obviously building up towards that semifinal,” Maharaj spoke about the game against India.

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Praveen CA