India vs South Africa Live Score, Cricket World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma has won the toss and chosen to bat first, thus deciding to make South Africa do something that they have looked uncomfortable with. Nine matches. That’s all what’s left between now and the semifinals of the 2023 World …Read More Cup, and as we reach the fag end of what’s turned out to be an exceptional tournament, two teams that have already sealed a place in the semis – India and South Africa – are expected to produce a cracker of a contest. India vs South Africa at the iconic Eden Gardens, Kolkata was initially not supposed to be as big but the trail of victims these two teams have left behind, this game could potentially be the match of the tournament. As inconsequential as this match may sound, it really isn’t. Both teams are still eyeing that top spot in the points table to head into the knockouts full of confidence. India are unbeaten with 7 wins from 7 games, but South Africa aren’t behind, securing victories in all barring that upset to the Netherlands.
South Africa could be India’s sternest test till now. Last year, it was the only team they lost to at the T20 World Cup’s group stage, and despite being higher-ranked, have faced their series of unexpected results against the Proteas. Yesterday, Team India woke up to the news of Hardik Pandya being ruled out, but as long as their reinforcements – Mohammed Shami and Suryakumar Yadav are going berserk – they don’t have much to worry. What happens to the sixth-bowling option you ask? Well, Rahul Dravid coach mentioned that if needed, the wrong-footed in-swinging menace Virat Kohli is ready to fill in.
But today, India may once again need Kohli the batter more against this hostile South African attack. With 442 runs from 7 innings, Kohli is third in the list of World Cup 2023’s leading run scorers, raising scores of 85, 55 not out, 103 not out and 88, and what better way for The King to make his 35th birthday extra special than by achieving a feat the world has been keeping an eye on – a record-equalling 49th century which will make him quicker to the landmark than the great man, Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli has the numbers to do it. He has a stellar batting record at the Eden Gardens – an average of 47 in 7 ODIs. But against South Africa, it’s even more intimidating – 61 in 30 ODIs including three fifties and one century.
But this South African team is something else. Despite the absence of Anrich Nortje, just look at how Temba Bavuma has marshalled his troops, especially his fast bowlers. Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Marco Jansen and Gerald Coetzee have combined to take 48 wickets this World Cup. Add another 11 from Keshav Maharaj and boy, does this bowling unit look threatening. Even if one is to move beyond the bowlers, there is Quinton de Kock, who in this last ODI tournament is scoring runs for fun. 545 runs, four centuries and average of 77.85. A guy who loves batting against India. Aiden Markram has 362 runs at 60.33, Rassie van der Dussen 353, and Heinrich Klaasen with 315. No wonder South Africa are in the semis with still a couple of league matches to go.
But there is a special connection that binds India with South Africa in this tournament. At the 2011 World Cup, South Africa was the only team India lost to. So for all those worried about the whole ‘Law of Averages’ thing, you may get an answer tonight. India still have the Netherlands to beat, which may not be a hassle despite the Dutch’s graph showing an upward curve. Having said that, today is the big occasion. India are bound to have one game that will mellow them down a bit. That’s how it works. And we better hope it happens in the coming two matches rather than the knockouts.
Here are some key pointers surrounding India vs South Africa World Cup 2023 match:
– In the 90 ODIs played between the two teams, South Africa lead head-to-head encounters with 50 to 37 with three ending in no results.
– India have lost three of their last five ODIs to South Africa.
– South Africa were the only team to beat India at the 2011 World Cup.
– For the first time in his ODI career, Virat Kohli bats for India on his birthday.
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