South Africa vs. India
|Date & Time||Wednesday June 5, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
South Africa +175 / India -225
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India open their 2019 World Cup account against a South Africa side that have already lost their first two matches of the tournament. A defeat against England was followed up by an embarrassing loss to Bangladesh, leaving South Africa’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals in serious doubt.
India come into the tournament ranked 2nd in the world and are also the favorites to lift the trophy, after hosts England. They will be confident of beating South Africa considering their dismal start.
MS Dhoni and KR Rahul both scored centuries in their last warm up match against Bangladesh and look to be in fine form. Dhoni’s 113 came from just 78 balls and Rahul looks to have cemented the number four spot with his performance.
India’s spinners also performed well against Bangladesh. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal both picked up three wickets each, hinting towards a successful tournament for the spin bowlers in English conditions.
On the other hand, South Africa failed to bounce back from their loss to England with another below par showing against Bangladesh. South Africa were sloppy in the field and again lost crucial wickets as they failed to chase down 330.
South Africa were once again let down by their more experienced players. Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy both got off to good starts but couldn’t capitalize on their early runs. Opener Quinton de Kock will also be disappointed with himself after he was run out early on following a shambolic mix up.
South Africa’s bowling was also not up to scratch and they only managed six wickets against Bangladesh. Imran Tahir, Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo picked up two wickets each but the Proteas never really looked too threatening with the ball.
India’s batting line-up is extremely strong. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli have scored an immense 42 ODI hundreds between them since the last World Cup; the most of any opening three batsmen in the world. If any of these players get firing against South Africa, they will be hard to stop.
In Jasprit Bumrah India also have the number one ranked ODI bowler. The 25-year-old has 85 ODI wickets to his name and with the South African’s low on confidence, he will see this as a great opportunity to add to his tally.
South Africa will be without pace bowler Lungi Ngidi after he sustained a hamstring injury against Bangladesh. Ngidi's first four overs went for 34 runs before he walked off the field and back to the dressing room at the conclusion of the seventh over.
I see India being too strong for South Africa in Southampton. The South African’s couldn’t have imagined a poorer start to the tournament and they are now under severe pressure to finish in the top 4. India are better in every department and should claim a win in their first World Cup match.