ICC World Cup 2019: Firm favorites India Take On Bruised South Africa In Their World Cup Opening Campaign


India, one of the firm favorites to win the world cup this edition starts their campaign today against the bruised South Africa.

South Africa might have lost their two matches on the trot but by no means can we say that they are a weak time. On the other hand India is playing their first match today and would hope to end this on a winning note.

The anticipation surrounding the Indian Team is at an all time high as the World’s Best Batsman will walk his team out in his first World Cup as a captain. And if you hear his excitement while talking aboutr it, you will realize how big the occassion is. Apart from the Indian fans, a lot of eyes will be on him too, as he is the most talked about cricketer for reasons good and otherwise. And maybe he will own this World Cup with his bat- The only thing missing from his eminent CV.

As the race for the No. 4 was on, KL Rahul grabbed the spot and overtook Vijay Shankar after scoring a brilliant century against Bangladesh in the warm-up match. And after a lot of permutations and combinations India finally has a most balanced side going into their first match.

India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul, MS Dhoni(w), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.

South Africa (Playing XI): Quinton de Kock(w), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis(c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Jean-Paul Duminy, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi.

South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first in what looked like a good surface for the batsman. So before we can see the No. 1 ODI batsman in action, we will see the No. 1 ranked ODI bowler’s lethal spell and Bhuvi’s swing vs the South Africans top-order.

Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock walk out on the field followed by the Indian players. The new ball is tossed in the hands of Bhuvneshwar Kumar who starts with a bit of swing, hitting some nice lengths and conceding just the two runs off his first over.

From the other end comes, Jasprit Bumrah, making his debut in the World Cup as the No. 1 ranked ODI bowler. A run-out chance was missed of his bowling but that did not deter his spirit and he ended up sending both the openers back to the hut very cheaply. Bumrah is just the second over of his first World Cup match, he took the big wicket of Hashim Amla and the roar of the Indian fans could be heard all over. A good piece of captaincy was seen by Kohli as he put himself at the third slip and the edge off Quinton de Kock landed in his hands in Bumrah’s next over.

After the First Powerplay was done with SA were at 34-2, losing both the openers. Finding themselves in the quick stand, the onus was upon Faf dy Plessis to pull them out of it. Together with Rassie van der Dussen, slowly and steadily, they started rebuilding the innings but just as the partnership between them was developing, Chahal was introduced into the attack and in his very second over he got the prized scalpe of both the set batsman in the span of just 4 balls. South Africa further crumbled as Duminy was trapped infront by his spin partner Kuldeep, and in the hope of wicket hitting being Umpire’s call, South Africa also lost the only review they had and were sinking at 89-5 at the end of 23rd over.

David Miller and Andile Phehlukwayo further started to rebuild the innings and as the parternship was growing, Virat Kohli brought back Bumrah into the attack to stop the flow of runs. As the pressure was building among the batsman, David Miller threw away his wicket after a steady partnership of 46 runs as he was caught by Chahal off his own bowling.

As wickets kept falling, the first six of the match was hit by Phehlukwayo in the 39th over of the innings but soon after he fell trying to up the ante as in the process he ran down the pitch and was stumped out by MS Dhoni as Chahal picked up his 4th wicket of the match, which was MS Dhoni’s 139th stumping in List A Cricket-joint most with Moin Khan.

At the end of 40th over at 161-7 SA looked all set to fall before even putting a total of 200 on the board. But Chris Morris along with Kagiso Rabada put up a vital stand of 66 runs before he was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar in the last over of the match.

South Africa added 66 runs off the last 10 overs to set a target of 228 runs for India. It may seem an easy target to chase but with teams like South Africa and in tournaments like World Cup you can never write any team off. And it will be upon Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to see off the new ball and make it an easy chase for the batsmen to follow.

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