After watching every other side play their matches, India start their ICC World Cup 2019 campaign with a game against South Africa at Southampton. A late introduction could work either way, which will be the point of discussion on Wednesday.
South Africa have played two matches already and lost both. While their loss to England was on expected lines, the loss to Bangladesh was a shocker. With injuries striking the camp, South Africa are hoping to find their feet.
South Africa Preview
The Proteas are running short of players at the rate they are picking injuries. Hashim Amla had a head injury, Dale Steyn has left the tournament and Lungi Ngidi has picked up a hamstring injury. This will be their third game in six days and will test the squad.
The bowling already looks thin and Faf du Plessis will be worried about runs on this ground. Only three weeks ago there were 734 runs scored, although the conditions are different now. Knockouts look far now for the Proteas, who will look to get back to winning ways.
Contrasting displays in the warmups didn’t bring comfort to India. They were run ragged by New Zealand, while Bangladesh were brushed aside with ease. Still, with so much time at their disposal, India will be wary of being caught out.
Lack of match fitness could be a worry, as the likes of Kedar Jadhav will testify. There are concerns over the team combination also. The form of the middle-order and the spinners remain worries for India as they start their World Cup campaign.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Virat Kohli has enjoyed a stellar tour to South Africa last year with some tall scores. He could be crucial if India need a good positive start.
Quinton de Kock has been one of the rare shining lights for South Africa so far. He enjoys playing against India and will fancy his chances.
Rassie van der Dussen has been excellent for South Africa with his ability to score consistently. He will be crucial for their chances.
Hashim Amla coming back into the side could be a blessing for South Africa.
South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (WK) 2 Hashim Amla 3 Faf du Plessis (C) 4 Rassie van der Dussen 5 David Miller 6 JP Duminy 7 Dwaine Pretorious 8 Andile Phehlukwayo 9 Chris Morris 10 Kagiso Rabada 11 Imran Tahir
India might go in with just one spinner.
India: 1 Rohit Sharma 2 Shikhar Dhawan 3 Virat Kohli (C) 4 KL Rahul 5 MS Dhoni 6 Kedar Jadhav 7 Hardik Pandya 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9 Kuldeep Yadav 10 Mohammad Shami 11 Jasprit Bumrah
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