South Africa v India Cricket World Cup Tips, Predictions and Preview - India start World Cup campaign

Favourites to win the title, but with a dodgy pre-tournament preparation, India will hope that their delayed start won’t count against them when they face South Africa in the ICC World Cup in Southampton on Wednesday.

While this is the first match for India, South Africa are playing their third. After a disastrous 104-run loss to England, the Proteas were shocked by 21 runs by Bangladesh. Though this is a long tournament and they will get their chances later on, South Africa wouldn’t fancy going three down and a mountain to climb later on in the tournament.

South Africa


Starting the tournament as one of the sides going under the radar, South Africa are staring down the barrel. Both the games saw the batsmen not putting the house in order. Although they scored in excess of 300 against Bangladesh, they were always behind the game and never looked like chasing 330 down.

The worry for Faf is that none of the top stars are performing. Quinton de Kock has scored 91 runs in the tournament, but South Africa will expect more from him. Hashim Amla could come back into contention, while Dale Steyn could also be available to boost their attack.

India


The ‘Men in Blue’ received a scare on the eve of the match when captain Virat Kohli got a knock on his thumb in the training. Although he got the nod to go ahead, India will worry that their talisman could not be 100% fit. That puts a question mark over the batting unit, which has largely depended on Rohit Sharma and Kohli to pull them around.

Bowling will be all about Jasprit Bumrah and Kohli will have a decision to make on the composition of the side. Should he go with two spinners, there could be a lengthier tail which might work to their disadvantage.

Match Up


It is not an exaggeration to say that South Africa need a win at all costs. They can’t afford to lose three in a row and then make a comeback later in the tournament. Expect them to come out all guns blazing to make sure they don’t fall way behind.

India will be wary of their preparations, which haven’t gone exactly to plan. There are too many concerns that remain unaddressed, as the form of the openers and the middle-order continues to remain a bottleneck.

History & Statistics


  • South Africa have won just two of their last ten ODIs against top-four sides England, India and New Zealand.
  • India have won 15 of their last 18 ODIs at neutral venues, losing just two.
  • Kohli has a 50+ score every third innings he plays in the UK.
  • Eight of the last ten ODIs at this venue have been won by the team batting first.

Key Players


Andile Phehlukwayo has been a surprise revelation for South Africa so far, with some tight spells and three wickets to his name so far. With everyone around him struggling, the all-rounder could once again be vital for South Africa.

Kohli has scored 558 runs against South Africa in six innings when they last played in February 2018. Injury or not, he will be vital for India with his runs.

Tips


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South Africa v India Cricket World Cup Tips, Predictions and Preview - India start World Cup campaign

India will hope that their delayed start won’t count against them when they face South Africa in the ICC World Cup in Southampton on Wednesday.

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