New Delhi: When we talk about home advantage in a sport like cricket, we generally relate it with the playing conditions and home support.
In most cases, visiting team doesn't get the crowd support as they flock into the stadiums to cheer their own team.
However, as far as South African cricket team is concerned, the logic doesn't really work.
Proteas have won the hearts of Indian cricket fans and are getting ample of support from the sport lovers across the country.
Here are a few possible reasons why Saffers have such a huge fan following in India:
1. Most of the South African players play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and visit the country every year to enthrall the audience with their performances. Players like Dayle Steyn, AB de Villiers, David Miller, Faf du Plessis and Morkel brothers - Albie and Morne - have a huge fan base in this part of the world.
2. Many Indian fans have this soft corner for the Proteas, who are yet to win the ICC World Cup even after being one of the world's best 50-over unit for years. The way they lost in 1999 (final) and 2015 (semi-final) perhaps helped them in a way to gain more sympathy of emotional Indian cricket lovers.
3. South Africa have a rich history when it comes to players who have been true gentlemen of the game. Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener, Jonty Rhodes, AB de Villiers, Faf de Plessis, Dale Steyn – all these players have made a tremendous impact on mind of fans across India through their laudable sportsmanship.
4. It's not just batting and bowling but their fielding unit too has always been inspirational. From Jonty Rhodes to AB to Faf they have always produced world-class athletes to entertain the fans with their extraordinary abilities.
5. South African team, which is known to play aggressive brand of cricket, have many loyal Indian fans. And for these fans Saffers have always been their second favourite cricket team. Friendly nature of these cricketers off-the-field is a major reason why they are cheered wherever they play in India.