(Opinion Poll: Who will win India vs South Africa? Predict Here)
After posting a great win in their first encounters, both India and South Africa will look to battle it out at the MCG, the match that will decide the Pool B topper. The team winning the match will mostly finish as the leaders of Group B. Let us take a look at what’s in store ahead of the high voltage clash at the G.
Weather Report: The weather forecast for Melbourne on Sunday looks hot with just a bit of cloud cover coming in. So, there should not be any interruption in the play due to rain.
Pitch Report: The wickets at the MCG is known to have some bounce and likely to support the bowlers early on and the batsman might cash in as the match goes on. So the team winning the toss should have no hesitation in batting first.
Time: 1400 local, 0900 IST
(Also Read: World’s second most popular seach engine predicts India vs South Africa match Here)
After a poor three months in ‘Australia, were the Men in Blue didn’t taste success, India managed to register their first win of the long tour down under when they defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by 76 runs in their first Pool A encounter at the Adelaide Oval last Sunday. The team looked a completely different side altogether side in the recent past as they outclassed their opponents quite comprehensively. Virat Kohli was sublime in his knock of 107 while Suresh Raina was at his aggressive best. The good news for the Indian team would be the return to form of opener Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan who was going through a pale patch in the Australian tour, got going in the World Cup opener with a 73 run knock that set the tone for India. On the bowling front, Mohammad Shami led attack looked in complete control throughout the match. The spinners also had a good outing against the Men in Green as R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja did a good job in the decent job.
Indian players preparing to take on South Africa
But coming to the match at The G, India will be have to start from the scratch and repeat their last week’s performance and should look to finish the group as the winners. For that, India have to play out of their sleeves in order to beat the mighty Proteas. They will depend on their premier batsman Rohit Sharma to come good at the top of the order which will lay the platform for the likes of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina to come and finish off the innings with a bang. Ajinkya Rahane also has a big role in his hand and he will be expected to come to the part in the middle overs. India will be banking on their skipper MS Dhoni to come good down the order. Once again, the bowling will rely on Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav to make some early inroads in the Proteas line-up so that the spinners can come in and make cash in on. On a whole, India will look to play hard and win the match so that their progress in the World Cups will have some smooth roads.
The Proteas might have just survived their World Cup opener against Zimbabwe at Hamilton, but they will look to bounce back against India, Their top order collapsed and David Miller and JP Duminy came to the rescue of the Proteas as both of them scored centuries and took their side to a strong position. Just like their batting, their bowling too failed initially before Imran Tahir came to the rescue. After having just getting through the line, the Proteas will be fired up before their match against India at the MCG. Quinton de Kock will be facing his favourite opposition as he scored three centuries on the trot against India when they toured Soured South Africa late in 2013. De Kock will look to continue his good run against the men in Blue at Melbourne as well.
The South African team is in a huddle ahead of their clash against India.
On the other hand, South Africa will look for their premier batsmen Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis to lay a strong foundation at the top of the order so that the likes of AB de Villiers, Miller and Duminy can come and start attacking from the word go. On the bowling front, Dale Steyn will look to get his form back as he was plundered by Hamilton Masakadza in the previous match. Morne Morkel can trouble the batsmen with the bounce he extracts from the wicket while Vernon Philander can make some early inroads into the Indian batting with his swing and accuracy. The Porteas would also should be beware of the fact that the Indian batsmen will look to pummel runs out of their fifth bowlers’ quota which will be shared by JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien.
Previous World Cup encounters:
1992, Adelaide: South Africa won by 6 wickets.
1999, Hove: South Africa won by 4 wickets.
2011, Nagpur: South Africa won by 3wickets.
Key Players to watch out for:
India: Virat Kohli
Who else will Pakistan rely on apart from Virat Kohli? Kohli has become India’s most reliable batsmen in the recent past and he is also living up to the expectations of the fans. He will look to continue from where he left against Pakistan last week. But this time, he has to put some more effort as scoring runs against South Africa is not so easy when compared to Pakistan and the MCG is much bigger than the one in Adelaide. He will look to Anchor India’s innings till the end and put them in a strong position.
Virat Kohli and Hashim Amla hold key for their respective teams
South Africa: Hashim Amla
The South African team management will look to HAshim Amla to get them off to a good start. He has done it in the past for them and he will hope to do the same thing once again. Amla and De Kock are crucial for South Africa posting a huge total on the board. If the duo get going, a solid platform is laid at the top for the batsmen to follow which helps them to go for the kill in the later stages of the innings. On the other hand if they fail, then the middle order has to work hard for the runs. So the onus is on World number 1 batsman Hashim Amla to get his side off to a good start.
Probable playing XI:
All the fifteen members of the squad are available for selection as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and R Ashwin have recovered from their respective injuries. But the Indian team is unlikely to make any changes for the match against South Africa.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma.
South Africa’s premier pacer Dale Steyn has fully recovered from flu and is available for the match against India, a news that make their team management happy. The proteas might go in with an all-pacer attack and include Kyle Abbott for Imran Tahir.
Quinton De Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, David Miller, JP Duminy, Wayne Parnell, Veron Philander, DaleSteyn, Imran Tahir and Morne Morkel.