After 2 unfortunate losses South Africa now has to face India in their opener of the world cup. The Rose Bowl cricket ground is known for its delaying pitches which can harm batsmen but as both sides have strong batting line up the team that looks to chase will be on an advantage. It is a crucial match for Africans as another loss can endanger their chances to reach knockouts, while India will look to dominate the season with a win. With the probable return of Amla, SA will look to restrict the Indian middle order to reduce the mammoth total that they might be looking for. With their ability to score explosively in the last 10-15 overs India can be very explosive in their innings.
With the weather predictions and team strengths, we assume that India will be looking to chase. On the other hand, the Africans might be looking to bat first and let their amazing set of bowlers win the match for them irrespective of the fact that this is a must-win match for them. With Indian openers struggling, Kohli will be the key player along with the in-form uncrowned captain MS Dhoni.
If SA bats first, they will try to look for a big opening partnership. As of now, their middle order has been unstable and the top 4 batsmen will have to perform to score anything above 300. If the remaining batsmen surprise us with their performance the score will definitely go beyond 300 which is the only way to get India under pressure. With the ideology that no total is too much for Indians, the Africans will try to boost their score in the last 5-10 overs for which they need to keep a few wickets in hand. Those extra runs can come handy for their already good bowlers to defend the match.
On the contrary, batting second seems like a disadvantage to them. The 4 speedsters along with Tahir must stop partnerships and the in-form middle order. Rabada will be the key bowler to open and also end in the final overs. They will look to reduce India at anything around 300. For this, they must remove Dhoni and Pandya who thrash the ball in final 10 overs.
The first choice of India will be chasing unless otherwise. It has been their strength as both Dhoni and Kohli play immensely well in such conditions. For this, their bowling attack will revolve around Bumrah and spinners who can trouble the opponents with different angles. It is likely to happen that SA scores less than 300 because of the current form of both these teams. With a couple of new faces in the team, it will be interesting to see how they contribute because the unexpected players can harm their opponents massively. In this situation, the first and last 10 overs of Indian bowling will play an important role.
The second probability could either be a nightmare or a high scoring inning for Indians. They need their openers to bat well if they bat first. If the top order fails the entire batting can collapse and will turn the match towards Africans. Anything less 300 seems doable in this world cup. The teams scoring around 350 had to bowl well and all big matches have been high scoring, period.
The situations are favoring batsmen, the question is who will take better advantage of these conditions and register their first win in WC’19. If the captains take an unorthodox decision then this match will be anyone’s guess.