India v South Africa, ICC Group B Match Preview

June 11, 2017

It’s the biggest game of the ICC Champions Trophy so far, India versus South Africa. Winner goes through to the next round, and the loser goes out of the competition. It’s do or die.

The Indian captain Virat Kohli and South African captain AB de Villiers are very good friends, as they play for the same team in the IPL – Royal Challengers Bangalore. They have a lot of respect for each other.

Virat is normally aggressive when talking about the opposition, but he looked much mellowed down in his statements on South Africa. Asked about what would happen in tomorrow’s game, Virat said, “The team that can have the most composure, I would say, to sum it up, will have a better chance of winning of the game tomorrow.”

There are a lot of questions on AB de Villiers’ captaincy. He has been severely criticized by the South African media, who love him as a batsman, but question his credentials as a captain. They say that Faf de Plessis should have led the South African team instead.

De Villiers knows this, and he said, “I’m really enjoying the captaincy. I think I make some good calls. But yeah, pencil’s in your hand, and I unfortunately can’t control what you’re going to write but in my mind I’m a good captain. So that’s unfortunately going to come down to the result again tomorrow. Hopefully a good one.”

Clearly, this is a big match, which would have been a great final. But it is now a virtual quarter final. Both teams will do everything to win and they are both packed with a number of superstar players. This could go either way, to be fair.

India will need a grand performance from their superstars, the likes of Virat, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni. They cannot afford to make any mistakes in this match.

The question is whether they play R Ashwin at the expense of Ravindra Jadeja. That would be the only big change they might make in this match. Jadeja’s bowling in the last game looked non-threatening, but he is a superb fielder.

Another possibility is that Ashwin might get a chance ahead of Umesh Yadav, who had a poor game last time. For South Africa, there will be a tossup between Wayne Parnell and Morne Morkell for the bowling spot and JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien for the batting spot.

The Teams

 India: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt.), 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Umesh Yadav/R Ashwin, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

South Africa: 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 David Miller, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Wayne Parnell/Andile Phehlukwayo 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir

Match Conditions

The last match played at the Oval was a high scoring one, between India and Sri Lanka. We expect the same again. Side batting second will have an advantage.

Watch India play South Africa today at 3:00 pm live on Star Sports!

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