After posting a great win in their first encounters, both India and South Africa will lock horns at MCG, the match that will decide the Pool B topper. The team winning the match will most likely finish at the top of Group B. Let us take a look at stats comparison of both the teams:
1. Comparison of Captains:
For MS Dhoni, the stats say it all. He has been the captain of the Indian ODI team for almost eight years now and also has a lot of experience in leading in big tournaments. Under him, India won the ICC World Cup 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013. When India plays against Ireland on March 10th at Hamilton, Dhoni will surpass Mohammad Azharuddin’s record to captain India in most number of ODIs.
On the other hand, AB de Villiers has slowly but surely started to find his feat as a captain and looks in much more control during tough situations. The way he lead his side to some important series wins against Australia (Tri-Series in Zimbabwe) and New Zealand last year was a treat to watch. Under him, South Africa also managed to reach the semi-finals of ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
2. Openers Comparison:
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma’s opening partnership has been an asset for India in the recent past. Rohit takes his time early on and gets his eye in by watching the ball closely while Dhawan plays the role of aggressor. As the innings progresses, Rohit picks up momentum and catches up with Dhawan.
On the other hand, Amla and de Kock seem to enjoy each other’s company more than some of the pairs of the past. While Amla’s aggression is probably a more natural careful starter, de Kock is the opposite and likes to be aggressive from the beginning before quietening down later on, if at all.
3. Virat Kohli v AB de Villiers:
One good thing about both Kohli and de Villiers is that they possess an unmatchable ability to convert their starts into big ones. Once they get going, it becomes impossible for the opposition bowlers to stop them. Kohli relies on grace and placement more than brute force whereas de Villiers captivates the imagination of the audience with his artistic strokeplay.
4. Mohammad Shami v Dale Steyn:
One thing that separates both Shami and Steyn from the other bowlers of their respective teams is their wicket-taking ability during the crunch situations of the game. Their pace and swing come from their virtually perfect wrist position upon release of each delivery, and the fact that both are not lanky fast-bowlers, means that their short pitched deliveries skid through and hurry up the batsman.
5. Suresh Raina v David Miller:
South Africa have done the right thinking in promoting Miller to number five position so that he gets enough time to settle and smash the ball all around the park at the end of the innings. Just like Raina at number five has the support of the more experienced MS Dhoni at number six, which helps him in placing his innings, Miller also has the services of JP Duminy at number six.
Both Raina and Miller have carved a niche for themselves in ODIs and would also like to do the same in this all important tournament and lead their team to glory.