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India v South Africa : ICC CWC 2019 : Dr. Nilesh D. Mehta

 

India v South Africa :

CWC ICC 2019 : Dr. Nilesh D. Mehta

 

Located on a triangular peninsula on the southern coast of England at the confluence of the Rivers Test and Itchen, Southampton offers an appealing mixture of city, coast and countryside. The ground was designed by architect Sir Michael Hopkins, and the pavilion’s tented roof is reminiscent of the Mound Stand at Lord’s which he also designed. The Hampshire Bowl is the newest venue being used at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, having first staged first-class cricket in 2001.

While the match in Southampton was the third one for the South African team, India started their campaign for this ICC CWC 2019 under their spirited captain and leader Virat Kohli with an overall success of winning 62% of their ICC ODI matches. Australia has historically won 75% of all their ICC ODI matches and they have the best overall record in the ICC World Cup events. South Africa has an impressive record of having won 63.6 % of their ICC ODI matches, however, they have started off extremely poorly after being outplayed by the favorites England as well as  Bangladesh. Clearly, the absences of Lungi Ngidi (hamstring injury) and Dale Steyn (shoulder injury) was a serious blow in their match against Bangladesh. It was announced that Steyn suffers from shoulder impingement syndrome which causes the shoulder movement to be painfully restrictive. Following their devastating loss against Bangladesh, Faf du Plessis, the South African skipper mentioned, “South Africa is a proud sporting nation. The skills were not there today but I promise there will be a lot of fight.”

 

And, they needed to put up a strong fight against India on June 5 to prevent a 0-3 start in this World Cup. Did they? Not really. A combination of India’s bowling, poor South African fielding and bowling, a supportive boisterous partisan Indian crowd, and Rohit Sharma were inexplicably the reasons for South Africa going down 0-3 in this World Cup. After winning the toss, South Africa decided to bat first and found themselves in a troublesome spot early on when Hashim Amla, returning from his injury, was neatly picked up by Rohit Sharma giving Jasprit Bumrah his first wicket. The game was played under overcast conditions and India’s ace pace bowler did not miss out and dismissed both the South African openers. The team never quite recovered with wickets falling at regular intervals with modest contributions from skipper Faf du Plessis (38), David Miller (31), and Andile Phehlukwayo (34).

 

India chasing a meagre 227 was made easy  by the 32-year-old Rohit Sharma, who remained unbeaten on 144 off 122, with 13 fours and 2 sixes. Generally, when one of the top three batsmen in India’s line up piles on runs, the results tend to be in India’s favor. India appeared to be a well-rested and motivated side and have begun this ICC CWC 2019 journey on a positive note with a comprehensive six wicket win over South Africa.

 

Dr. Nilesh D. Mehta

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