After conceding their first two games, South Africa now run into a powerful, and fresh, Indian side which would open their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign in Southampton today.
South Africa have had a tough initiation into this World Cup, suffering defeats in both their games so far and it doesn’t get any easier as they face world number two India, who are one of the top contenders for the trophy.
South Africa conceded totals of over 300 against both England and Bangladesh but that is only to be expected in these conditions.
Their batsmen, however, fell well short against England and, despite a much-improved performance against Bangladesh, still couldn’t take the team through.
Against the quality of India’s attack, it calls for a huge step-up in that aspect of their game.
India have had a week to tune off and gear up for their opening encounter. South Africa are hurting after two defeats, while India are fresh and raring to go and that only makes them more dangerous.
India’s top-order failed to fire in both their warm-ups, which is a slight cause of concern, but they seem to have settled the number four debate at last.
Their bowling is overflowing with potential, too, with Jasprit Bumrah growing from strength to strength, and their two wrist-spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, continuing to prove to be big wicket-takers.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, M. S. Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, K. L. Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav.
South Africa: Francois du Plessis (Captain), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, J. P. Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi.