South Africa captain AB de Villiers was in defiant mood after his team suffered a humiliating eight-wicket loss to India on Sunday which ended their Champions Trophy campaign and enhanced their long-held reputation as “chokers” in big matches.
The Proteas have won only one global one-day title, the inaugural Champions Trophy in 1998, and the world’s top-ranked team crumbled under pressure at The Oval in a straight shootout for a semi-final place.
South Africa lost a 1999 World Cup semi-final against Australia when they needed one run to win from the last four balls and were eliminated in the group stage on home soil in 2003 after misunderstanding the Duckworth-Lewis scoring system.
De Villiers, the world’s top-ranked one-day batsman who scored only 20 runs in three innings in the tournament, is focused on the 2019 World Cup.
South Africa coach Russell Domingo admitted the pressure on the side would continue to grow.
Their captain Virat Kohli played down the significance of South Africa’s reputation for under-performing in big games.