The second day of the World Cup, 15th Feb 2015 is all focused on the all important and crucial India-Pakistan match; however there is one match before the India-Pakistan match at Adelaide. That match is South Africa vs. Zimbabwe. The match will be played at Hamilton (New Zealand) and looking at Zimbabwe’s warm up matches, it looks like South Africa won’t have it easy against them. Let us take a look at the detailed analysis of the match between the two African teams. The match will start at 6:30 am I.S.T.
The Proteas are the favourites to win the tournament but the thing is can they stop choking this time around? Over the last year and the last month’s West Indies series, South Africa is one side other than Australia that looks perfect. The team build up looks like a dream line up.
Take the batsmen, and you have Hashim Amla, the mighty hash, Quinton De Kock, Rilee Rossouw, and the captain AB De Villiers himself who not a long time ago hit the fastest 100 in ODI’s. These players are excellent fielders too. Now imagine everyone scoring big runs and Ab de Villiers finishing off in the end. Woah! I believe South Africa will cross the 300 run mark for the maximum times in this World Cup and even 400.
Now come to bowling department and you have the world’s best bowler Dale Steyn. Morne Morkel too will be dangerous to play because of his height and the bounce he will get on the New Zealand track.
They can really turn this World Cup on head, and have the ability to win every match and take $4.6m for remaining unbeaten in the tournament. I see no other team to do that other than South Africa.
Have you followed the Warm up matches which are just before the World Cup? No. Let me just tell you what happened in the two Warm Up matches which Zimbabwe played in. The first warm up match was against New Zealand but the match got washed out because of rain. That is not the complete story. They had New Zealand, the World Cup favourites to struggle at 157/7 after 30 overs. In the second match against another test playing nation, i.e. Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe had a huge upset on them by chasing 281 in just 45.2 overs and shocking the World. They have done it previously in the 1999 WC too when they beat India and South Africa, however the 1999 Zimbabwean side was much better than today’s.
The batting is filled with stroke makers like Sikandar Raza, Masakadza, Brendon Taylor and the captain himself Elton Chigumbura who have the ability to put on and chase a target of 300 runs.
The bowling is not a worry state too. They displayed some brilliant death bowling against Sri Lanka in the warm up match and against New Zealand, the bowling was just too hard to handle for the Kiwis. Prosper Utseya, Zimbabwe’s senior member will be the one to watch out for
Previous World Cup Encounters:
1992 World Cup: South Africa won by 7 wickets
1999 World Cup: Zimbabwe won by 48 runs
Now it’s not a hard thing to say that South Africa are a better side than Zimbabwe. The Proteas just had a fantastic series against West Indies and are looking very confident. The warm up match loss against New Zealand shouldn’t bother them must. On the other hand, it’s a minnow team Zimbabwe, taken lightly by opposition and the weakness of the side becomes their strength. Zimbabwe’s team build up must be great at this stage as they had a big win against Sri Lanka and it shouldn’t be wrong to say that they managed to put New Zealand under pressure. With the momentum in hand and they luck of the day, Zimbabwe can do another miracle and it is possible. When a low grade team plays the crowd backs them and I expect the crowd to support Zimbabwe, although I don’t think there will be much crowd because of the India-Pakistan clash.
Key Players to watch out for:
South Africa: AB De Villiers
Skipper, excellent fielder, great batsman, extra-ordinary finisher. He can set the stage on fire and he is one of the key players in the SA side. There are many but he stands out amongst them. He has proved to be a match winner and his side under his leadership can dominate the World Cup. His addition to the SA side adds so much that without him, the batting line up of South Africa looks incomplete. Ab De Villiers, look out for him Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor
There are no words to describe a batman as calm and composed and his technical skills of batting. He is the key player for Zimbabwe not only in this match but for the entire World Cup. He is not the skipper though as Elton Chigumbura has taken that place. Brendon Taylor has been with the Zimbabwean side for a long time and now it’s time for him to step up and rise against the best in the World: South Africa. His keeping skills also give him an extra edge.
Probable Playing XI
Quinton De Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, Ab de Villiers (c), David Miller, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Kyle Abott, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn
Chamu Chibhabha, Sikandar Raza, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor (wk), Sean Williams, Elton Chigumbura (c), Regis Chakabwa, Tendai Chatara, Prosper Utseya, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Tinashe Panyangara.