Euro 2020 Special
 

India vs South Africa World Cup Preview: Can India Make it Three from Three?

India will play South Africa in their Super 12 group match of the 2022 T20 World Cup on Sunday, October 30th, at the Optus Stadium in Perth. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 pm local time.

This match may well feature the two teams who will progress from Group 2 into the semi-finals.

India are now the only team in the competition with a 100% record from their two games, although South Africa may rue their luck that rain deprived them of what had seemed certain victory against Zimbabwe.

But, with the other team who were predicted to closely challenge these two, Pakistan, now facing elimination from the tournament, this is a chance for both to put clear daylight between them and their nearest challengers.

And there is an advantage in topping the group as well, because that means they have a potentially easier semi-final against the runner-up in the other group.

 

India on track

India’s World Cup could not have started in more dramatic fashion, as they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Pakistan, thanks to a brilliant innings from Virat Kohli, and the inability of Pakistani spinner Mohammad Nawaz to cope with the pressure of bowling the last over.

Their second match against the Netherlands was much more routine. A 56 run victory was completed with a minimum of fuss against opponents who were outclassed with both bat and ball.

 

South Africa recovers from setback

Whilst South Africa felt that they were wronged by the decision to abandon the math with Zimbabwe when they seemed set to win it, they did not let that affect them when they took on Bangladesh. Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw set a new World Cup partnership record for any wicket of 168, and Rossouw became the first South African to score a World Cup century.

Their big run victory did wonders for their Net Run Rate as well.

 

Kohli v Rossouw

In Virat Kohli and Rilee Rossouw, India and South Africa possess to of the form batters of the World Cup so far, and the respective supporters will be hoping they can maintain that in this match. Certainly management teams will be busy devising ways to try and get them out.

 

The weather

Whilst the weather on Sunday is expected to be cool and cloudy, at this stage it is forecast to be a dry day. Ina tournament where rain is starting to have quite a serious impact on the outcome of matches, and the prospects of teams, that will come as a relief to both sides.

 

Head to Head

The two teams have played each other 23 times before in T20I cricket, and the current head to head record stands at 13 wins to India, 9 to South Africa, and one match ended in a no result.

In terms of World Cups, India has the far superior record, having won four out of the five previous meetings between the side. They won in 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2014, with South Africa’s only victory coming at Nottingham in 2009.

More recently, South Africa toured India last month as part of their World Cup preparations and played a three match T20I series (as well as three ODIs subsequently).

India won by 8 wickets in Thiruvananthapuram, and by 16 runs in Guwahati, before South Africa claimed a consolation victory in Indore.

 

Team news

Neither side has any injury concerns at present nor are both expected to field the same starting XIs that finished their recent matches.

 

Prediction

The weight of history is on the side of India, but they would do well not to underestimate South Africa, who appear to be a different proposition to the side they faced on home soil a month ago.

They have already got a thumping victory over New Zealand in a warm-up match under their belts and, in Rilee Rossouw, they face a batter who scored in the Third T20I between the two countries, that he has a liking for Indian bowling.

Where India may just have the edge is in bowling. They have a more varied attack than the South Africans even if they have yet to produce their best so far in Australia.

A loss for either side will not be disastrous, given the state of the group, but it could be damaging or morale.

 

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