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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Preview: India vs South Africa - CT2013

CT-2013-India-vs-South-Africa-Preview

What
The first match of Champions Trophy 2013, between India and South Africa
When
June 6, 2013
Where
Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, England
The Teams
India
All Indian players have flown to England after two hectic months of the IPL. Back in national colours, they will look to take fresh guard and further consolidate India’s top ranking in ODIs. If their performance in both their warm-up matches (against Sri Lanka and Australia) is anything to go by, MS Dhoni and his men look in tremendous form going into the main tournament.
Thanks to the resurgent Dinesh Karthik – who scored centuries in both warm-ups – the batting department looks as plush as ever despite the patchy form of some of the regular members of the playing XI. Karthik is a sure starter against South Africa and the only question is who will sit out to accommodate him. If Dhoni persists with Karthik in the middle order, Rohit Sharma might have to sit out due to his indifferent performance in the warm-ups. However, there is another possibility whereby Karthik could join either of the two out-of-form openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay – to lend solidity to the top order.
After being thrashed by the Lankan batsmen for 333 runs, the Indian bowling attack made a stunning comeback against the Aussies by skittling them out for 65. The fast bowling pack, led by Umesh Yadav, provided a beacon of hope to the Indian team and their supporters who wondered if India had the firepower to make the most of England’s pace-friendly conditions.
South Africa
The Proteas’ loss against Pakistan in their only pre-tournament warm-up match might have been an aberration, but concerns over Dale Steyn’s fitness ahead of the opening game could get South Africa off to a dodgy start in the Champions Trophy. Already missing Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis in the squad, the Proteas cannot afford to lose their best bowler.
However, all is not grey in the Proteas camp. JP Duminy, making an ODI comeback after injury, scored 150 against the Netherlands and followed it up with a 43 in the practice game against Pakistan. Lest it is forgotten, AB de Villiers and David Miller are coming off a successful IPL season and both are capable of winning matches singlehandedly. And even if Steyn does not take the field on Thursday, South Africa have enough quality in their bowling line-up to trouble Indian batsmen in English conditions.
Key Players
India
Karthik has forced one and all to take notice of him with sheer weight of runs and has given opposition bowlers something extra to think about when facing India. Others on the opposition radar will be the two men with whom Karthik allied to take India past 300 in both practice games. Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni can be nightmare-inducing for bowlers in the 50-over format.
While Umesh Yadav, with his pace and five wickets against the Aussies, has put himself at the helm of India’s bowling attack, the contribution and potential of Bhuvneshwar Kumar cannot be understated. His ability to move the ball both ways and hit the length accurately, make him an asset in seam-friendly conditions.
South Africa
AB de Villiers is going to be a busy man this tournament, juggling different the hats of leadership, wicketkeeping and batting mainstay that have been thrust upon his head. Expect him to balance all these roles just as well as he balances his body while playing those outrageous sweeps and scoops.
Trivia
  • India have never been the sole winners of the Champions Trophy. They shared the Cup with Sri Lanka in 2002-03.
     
  • South Africa won the first edition of the Champions Trophy, in 1998-99, then known as the Wills International Cup.
Stats
Result summary at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff:
Matches
Won by side batting 1st
Won by side batting 2nd
No Result
Tied
10
0
7
3
0
Head-to-head:
Matches
Played
India won
SA
won
No Result
Tied
Overall
71
24
40
7
0
In CT
2
2
0
0
0
At Cardiff
0
0
0
0
0

This is the first time India and South Africa will play an ODI at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.
Form guide (most recent listed first):
India:  Lost, Won, Won, Won, Lost (3 wins, 2 losses)
South Africa:   Won, Won, Lost, Won, Lost (3 wins, 2 losses)
Squads
India: MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Amit Mishra, Vinay Kumar
South Africa: AB de Villiers (capt/wk), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Rory Kleindveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Morne Morkel, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe
source: bcci.tv

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