A lot of sympathy is flowing in South Africa's favour after the team got knocked out from the 2015 World Cup at the Eden Park in Auckland on Tuesday. Pictures of shocked and emotional South African cricketers were sympathised with the fans. The semifinal result looked more like a defeat of the victors.
But did this South African team really deserve to be in the final of the World Cup? Many were saying that AB de Villiers' team is more talented than the previous ones but was it more a statement uttered out of passion?
Here are five reasons why this South African team never deserved to be in the final of the 2015 World Cup and were beaten by a team which has been playing superior cricket in the tournament:
South Africa could never overcome the panic factor
It was clearly showing on captain AB de Villiers' face when he missed an easy run-out chance during New Zealand's chase. The hosts were 4 wickets down and a strike at that moment would have brought the Proteas right into the match. The South Africans went on to miss more run-out chances and dropped catches, making it a free-run for the Kiwis.
The legacy of the 1999 loss in the semifinals and the 'chokers' tag that the South Africans have got permanently since then look to have undone the South Africa psyche. The New Zealanders, who were also playing for their first final, had kept their nerves till the last moment.
The bowling attack of this South African side looked far too one-dimensional. It was when spinner Imran Tahir did well that the South African bowling clicked (against West Indies and Sri Lanka) while the form of Dale Steyn was not that impressive (except the match against Pakistan which South Africa lost).
Teams like India and New Zealand, which have remained unbeaten in the tournament so far, have produced such performance because of the variety in their bowling. Even teams like Zimbabwe scored 277 against the South Africans, which shows that it was not the best in business.
Batting depended too much on AB de Villiers
South Africa's batting was too much depended on captain de Villiers. The middle-order lacked batsmen like Jacques Kallis and it was crowded with far too many hitters. South African batting was exposed against India and Pakistan when the batters needed to show patience and technique to chase under the lights.
There was a string of 400s and one 340 but all these were against hapless bowling attacks and were helped by smashing innings from de Villiers and some other big hitters. Hashim Amla's form remained a worry for the Proteas.
Not many wins against big teams
South Africa were never consistent in this tournament unlike many of its previous outfits under captains like Hansie Cronje and Graeme Smith. They were being projected as one of the favourites to win the tournament but a close look shows that they failed against big teams like India, Pakistan and New Zealand.
The only big win they got was against former champions Sri Lanka in the quarter finals (we don't really consider the West Indies that big a team nowadays).