Squads

India: MS Dhoni (captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, R Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Irfan Pathan, Rohit Sharma. South Africa: AB de Villiers (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, David Miller, Colin Ingram, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Ryan McLaren, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Rory Kleinveldt, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Farhaan Behardien. Umpires: Ian Gould (England) and Bruce Oxenford (Australia). Third umpire: Rod Tucker (Australia). Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe). Match starts at 3PM IST. The wait is over as the Champions Trophy kicks off today with India taking on South Africa at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff in a pool what is being dubbed as the Group of Death. With every game a sudden death, men in blue & Proteas would like to start the tournament on a high. India is coming into this tournament with convincing wins in their 2 warm-up games against Sri Lanka & Australia while South Africa lost to Pakistan in their warm-up match. Statistics

  • India has a 100% win record against South Africa in the Champions Trophy with India leading 2-0 in head-to-head having won in 2000 & 2002.
  • India and South Africa have met 66 times in ODI cricket with South Africa winning 40 matches and India 24, with two no-results.
  • South Africa won the competition in 1998. India was joint-winner in 2002.
  • India has played one game at the Cardiff Stadium, losing to England in 2011. South Africa has played three games at the venue, with one win and two no-results. The average first innings score is 222.
  • Last time these 2 teams met was in ICC World Cup 2011 where Proteas came out as winners.
  •  Teams                 Player to Watch           Last 5 Matches

India                         Dinesh Karthik                   L W W W L         South Africa               AB De Villiers                    L W L W W Who’s saying what “A fresh venue a new start, we have to do all the right things again. Just because the stats are in our favor doesn’t mean we will win the game.” MS Dhoni “We’ll put a bit of emphasis on the first 15 overs of the game. With the bat in hand, and try and fit the foundation and with the ball be very attacking.” AB de Villiers  

 Pitch and conditions Both top orders struggled in the India-Australia warm-up match on Tuesday in Cardiff, but Karthik and Dhoni showed patience was what the players need. Dhoni’s verdict on the pitch was: “There was not much swing for them but there was variable pace on offer”.   Overview With new rules in the cricket book India still hasn’t played an ODI overseas in last 15 months & with all new faces in the team despite the form of Dinesh Karthik it looks like a tough job for blue guys to bow down proteas in the Champions Trophy opener. On contrary South Africa have their problems too with no Smith, Kallis in the squad & Steyn’s injury is like dagger to the hearts. Dale Steyn is still in doubt for the opening game against India. Rohit Sharma is definitely to lose his place in the team after those 2 disappointing knocks in warm up matches. India’s top order has collapsed in 2 warm-up games they played & it’s the magic of trio Dhoni, Kohli & Karthik which has been saving India. Same is the case with the proteas their top order too failed against the might of pakistani bowlers but Proteas bowling attack looks better over Indian with Steyn, Morkel which can take toll on any team on bouncy English pitches. South Africa hopes too will be on their batting trio-Duminy, DE Villiers & Amla if they need to score a big total. Both the teams has young & new players which are playing for the first time in such a high profile tournament, u can’t predict anything what these young guns have got for u. So just get ready for a blast & let see who comes out as a better team on the day.