ICC Champions Trophy 2017: India vs South Africa - IND’s strengths and weaknesses | icc-champions-trophy-2017 | Hindustan Times
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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: India vs South Africa - IND’s strengths and weaknesses

India and South Africa square off in a crunch encounter in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on Sunday. The winner will enter the semi-final while the loser will be eliminated from the tournament.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 10, 2017 13:00 IST
HT Correspondent
India face a must-win situation against South Africa in a crunch ICC Champions Trophy 2017 encounter at The Oval.
India face a must-win situation against South Africa in a crunch ICC Champions Trophy 2017 encounter at The Oval.(HT Photo)

India face South Africa in their last Group B game on Sunday. A win or washout will put them in the semifinals while a loss would eliminate the defending champions. HT looks at their strengths and weaknesses ahead of the crunch tie:

Strengths:

Opening firepower: Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are on a roll since the IPL. Dhawan hit his third Champions Trophy century against Sri Lanka on Thursday while Sharma has missed out twice, scoring 91 and 78 in the two matches. Their century stands helped India post 300 plus totals in both the games.

Stable middle-order: The middle-order has cashed in on the opening stands. It was vintage Yuvraj Singh and skipper Virat Kohli in the win over Pakistan. MS Dhoni struck a terrific half-century against Sri Lanka, but Kohli, Yuvraj and Hardik Pandya all fell cheaply and India lost. But it was a rare failure and shouldn’t worry India.

Squad depth: The depth in the squad is such that Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Dinesh Karthik are yet to get a game. Though the team management would not like to tinker with the squad, the presence of world-class players is a happy headache to have.

Weaknesses

Off-the-field issues: Constant speculation over the next coach can affect the morale of any side. If India fail to reach the semifinals, the finger will be pointed at the alleged rift between coach and captain and the timing of BCCI’s notification seeking applications for a new coach.

Bowling: The highly rated Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah took just one wicket (two run outs) against Sri Lanka with Danushka Gunathilaka (76), Kusal Mendis (89) and skipper Angelo Matthews (52*) scoring half-centuries in the record chase. South Africa will provide a sterner test with Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla in the line-up.

Fielding: Indian fielding has been shoddy in both games. Against Sri Lanka, they pulled off two run outs, but dropped two catches. Kusal Mendis was dropped by Pandya on 24 and he added 65 more runs. In the first game against Pakistan, at least four chances -- two run outs and two catches -- were squandered.