Match Preview: India vs South Africa
Pakistan has never won against India in world cups and it’s no different for India tomorrow when they face South Africa in their second Pool B match. India and South Africa have faced each other thrice in World Cups before and India has lost all of those matches. It is a big match for both the teams as the winning team would likely finish at the top of the group and would face a slightly weak opposition in the quarters.
“It’s a home game for India. There’s going up to (almost) 100,000 people here and there is going to be a lot of Indian support, so keeping the crowd quiet is going to be a big thing,” Allan Donald was quoted on the kind of support India is expected to get. However, AB de Villiers pointed out he has always enjoyed big crowds. ‘I have enjoyed busy, intense games. It should get the blood flowing, playing in front of the big crowd in a big stadium with great tradition and history. We always love playing in big games, so nothing will change. We’re just looking forward to playing some good cricket on Sunday,’ de Villiers said.
It is anticipated to be a cracker especially for India as they come from a great win against Pakistan. South Africa though were a bit patchy against Zimbabwe. They were found reeling when they had lost 4 wickets inside hundred before Miller and Duminy saved the day. A brave effort from Zimbabwe saw them coming close to the target and giving the South Africans a scare. Dale Steyn suffering from sinus, looked out of sorts giving away 64 runs in 9 overs. Yet, Steyn and Morkel with Vernon Philander playing the second fiddle on the bouncy track of MCG form a hostile bowling attck capable of destroying any batting lineup.
South African top order struggled against Pakistani bowling, but with the likes of Amla, de Villiers, du Plesis, Miller, the Proteas have more than a destructive batting attack.
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India on the other hand are coming after performing well in all the three departments of the game against Pakistan. With Virat Kohli coming back in full flow scoring his 22nd ton, is expected to lead the charge against the Proteas. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan though need to be patient and negotiate the new ball well, so as to give india a good start. Virat Kohli should continue to bat at no. 3 and Rahane needs to be promoted to no. 4. Indian bowling lineup needs to be patient and bowl consistently in good areas. If they are able to pitch it well, then India would have a great chance against South Africa and might get lucky the 4th time.
All said and done, this might well turn out to be a contest between the batting lineup of both the teams with Proteas bowling side having an edge over the defending champions.
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India: MS Dhoni (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel and Stuart Binny.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Faf du Plessis, David Miller, JP Duminy, Farhan Behardien, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Imran Tahir, Kyle Abbott, Rillee Russouw, Aaron Phangiso, Kyle Abbott, Wayne Parnell.
Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (England) and Aleem Dar (Pakistan).
Match starts at 9.00 AM IST