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PREVIEW: South Africa vs India - The Battle for Survival
ICC Champions Trophy

PREVIEW: South Africa vs India - The Battle for Survival

The road till here

India will face South Africa in the 11th match of the Champions Trophy on the 11th of June at the Oval. This will be a virtual quarterfinal.

South Africa and India won their first matches comprehensively, they showed us why they are the world no.1 and world no.3 ODI team in the world. At that point it seemed quite obvious that these two teams will qualify for the semifinals without being troubled by Pakistan and Sri Lanka in their upcoming matches BUT the tables turned and how.

South Africa were bamboozled by Pakistan in their second match of the CT at Edgbaston. They lost by 19 runs via the DLS method. While batting first, they only managed to score 219. It could’ve been even worse had David Miller not steadied the innings. He remained unbeaten on 75. Other than this, Morne Morkel’s fiery spell of 3 for 18 was the only positive in that game for South Africa.

Sri Lanka stunned India in their second match by registering a record chase in the Champions Trophy. India posted a more than decent total of 321 thanks to contributions by Shikhar Dhawan 125, Rohit Sharma 75 and MS Dhoni 63. The batsmen did their job but the bowlers faltered; the bowlers only managed to take one wicket.

What to expect

This will be the first time both teams will clash in an ODI since their last meeting in the bilateral series which was played in India in 2015. South Africa won that series 3-2. AB de Villiers was declared player of the series; he scored three hundreds and averaged 89.50.

India have managed to post 300 plus scores in their previous two matches, the batsmen are almost doing their job to perfection. It’s the bowlers who need to join the party if India want to defend their title. They’ll have to include Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing 11, it will give their bowling unit the much needed boost. Umesh Yadav might as well be rested and replaced by Mohammed Shami. Shami was brilliant in the warm up games.

South Africa won their first game by posting 299 but with the batting strength they possess, one would feel they fell short. And in the game against Pakistan their batting was completely flat. This will be a huge concern going into the virtual quarterfinal against India. The likes of Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers are struggling to live upto expectations. If they don’t want to get knocked out, the batting unit will have to bring out their A game. Also, Wayne Parnell is their weakest bowling link, he can be replaced by Andile Phehlukwayo who has taken 18 wickets so far and is more than handy with the bat.

This virtual quarterfinal between India and South Africa will surely prove to be a treat for all cricket lovers.

Probable XI

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni(wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar

South Africa: Quinton de Kock(wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(c), David Miller, JP Duminy, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir

Players that can make a difference

AB de Villiers: He was out on a golden duck for the first time in his career in the last match. He only managed to score 4 runs in the match before that. This is not the AB de Villiers we are used to seeing, he is the world no.1 batsman for a reason and somehow those reasons have taken a back seat. With his side on the verge of being knocked out of yet another ICC tournament, if there is one man who can inspire his side to rise again, it’s AB himself.

Virat Kohli: Before getting out on a duck in his last game, Kohli in his last 7 innings had scored 75.7 runs per innings. He thrives on challenges, the knockout game will surely bring out the best in Virat Kohli. This will also be a perfect time to score his maiden ODI century in England.

Stat Alert

India and South Africa have played 73 ODIs so far, out which India managed to win only 28 and South Africa 45.

In the Champions Trophy India leads head-to-head 3-0.

Quinton de Kock has played 9 matches against India, scored centuries in 5 of them and averages 74.11