One of the quirks of the 2019 World Cup (WC) scheduling will be on display at The Rose Bowl when South Africa’s third opposition of the tournament, India, open their campaign on Wednesday.
Having patiently trained through an eight-day wait between their last warm-up and this opening match, it remains to be seen whether the lengthy gap in scheduling will be to India’s advantage or detriment. They generally do prepare well for ICC events, having won the first match of their last two Champions Trophy (CT) and WC tournaments.
One man who will have appreciated the extended break is Kedar Jadhav, who is now batting in the nets on his way to recovering from a recent shoulder injury. However, with a six-week tournament ahead, his selection will likely be subject to a fitness assessment on the morning of the match.
India will go into this clash warm favourites, with their opponents South Africa deep in the doldrums after two lacklustre efforts finds them with a 0-2 record. As of Monday morning, they remain one of just two nations to let a team bat into the 40th over, having done so twice.
Despite being on level terms with Bangladesh throughout most of their innings (252/5 in the 43rd over compared with 255/5), South Africa rarely looked like securing a WC record chase of 331. Three key areas of improvement are batting depth (Hashim Amla’s absence hurt), fielding efforts, and death overs bowling (having conceded 54 runs in their final four overs with the ball on Sunday).
South Africa are battling injury issues with pacer Lungi Ngidi being ruled out of India clash due to a hamstring strain.
It is perhaps no surprise that India have dominated the Proteas throughout recent history, winning five of six CT/WC encounters played this century in addition to their 5-1 demolition on tour in South Africa in February 2018.
IND vs SA – Players to watch out for
Virat Kohli (IND) destroyed the record for most runs in a single bilateral ODI series when compiling 558 (avg 186.00, SR 99.47, 3×100 1×50) in his six innings in South Africa in Feb 2018. In addition, he posts a score of 50+ every three ODI innings in the UK.
Faf du Plessis (SAF) fought in vain on Sunday, posting his fifth 50+ score in 11 innings in 2019.
IND vs SA – Probable XI
Probable XI for India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Probable XI for South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, JP Duminy, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi
The average first innings score at the Rose Bowl is 262, while the average winning total posted is 299.
Eight of the last ten ODIs at The Rose Bowl have been won by the team batting first.
India have won 15 of their last 18 ODIs at a neutral venue (T1, L2).
South Africa have won two just of their last ten ODIs against a current top-four opposition (ENG/IND/NZL).