ICC World Cup 2019: This is how Proteas can spoil Team India’s party in opener
The Indian cricket team will look to get off to a flier when they lock horns against South Africa in their blockbuster ICC World Cup 2019 opener at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on June 5. All 10 teams are scheduled to play against each other in the group stage before the tournament moves into the semi-finals.
Number two ranked Team India will open their campaign against third ranked South Africa, who will come into this clash after featuring in the tournament opener against hosts England on May 30. (Complete coverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019)
Despite being better placed in the ICC ODI Rankings, complacency will be India’s biggest enemy against South Africa as record suggests India haven’t done well against the Proteas in previous World Cups.
Of all the teams that are taking part in the tournament, India’s win/loss record is the worst against South Africa. The two teams have clashed four times in the showpiece event previously, with India coming out victorious in just one.
The ‘Men in Blue’ have performed admirably with the bat against their African rivals, however, with the bowl they have struggled immensely. In four matches, the Indian batsmen have scored 971 runs at a healthy strike-rate of almost 90.
But the Indian bowlers cannot boast of the same as they have leaked runs at an economy rate of 5.34, which is the highest in comparison to the others. To make matters worse, out of 40 wickets up for grabs, Indian bowlers have scalped only 22 wickets at a meagre average of 40.
The two-time World Cup winner, however, will take heart from the fact that they have enjoyed a good run of form against the Proteas after the 2015 World Cup. Post the multi-national event Down Under, India have beaten South Africa eight times in 12 outings.
If the ‘Blue Brigade’ are to get off to a winning start in the tournament, they will have to forget about the past and start afresh against their bogey team in Southampton.
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India: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), JP Duminy, David Miller, Dale Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Imran Tahir, Hashim Amla, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Quinton de Kock, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Rassie vd Dussen, Tabraiz Shamsi