- Winner of this match will qualify for the semi-finals as Group B Winners
- South Africa are ranked first and India third
- The match starts at 3 PM IST at The Oval
Indian captain Virat Kohli faces the toughest challenge of his short captaincy career as defending champions India take on the best ODI team in the world South Africa in a virtual quarterfinal’s win for either will result in them qualifying for the semi-final and knocking the other team out of the tournament.
Their confidence shaken after Sri Lanka effortlessly out-batted them in a high-scoring encounter, the Indian team will be keen to ensure that South Africa are continued to be known as “chokers.” If the Proteas lose, then the current No.1 ranked ODI side would be knocked out even before the semi-finals. In such a backdrop, the Indian team will be under extreme pressure to come out on top in such a crucial encounter. For South Africa, it will be an opportunity to prove that they are not chokers in international tournaments and have the mettle to go all the way. With a quality batting line-up — Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy and David Miller, AB de Villiers in the South African side and a dangerous bowling unit, India will have to up their game from the last match if they are to have any chances of qualifying for the semi-finals.
The depth in the Indian squad is such that Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Dinesh Karthik are yet to get a game in the tournament. Though the team management would not like to tinker with the squad, Ashwin could see a comeback into the side against a South African side that does not play spin too well. The Indian fielding which has been shoddy in both games needs to pick its game up. Against Sri Lanka, dropped two catches and against Pakistan, two run outs and two catches were squandered.
Virat Kohli: “We will have to sit down and think of how we match up against the opposition that we’re playing against,” Kohli said.”As I said, all options are open. “There will be a lot of things discussed, what went wrong and what combinations we can come out with in the next game.
Russel Domingo, South Africa Coach: South Africa go into the game with question marks over the form and fitness of captain AB de Villiers. The South African coach had no worries about this as he said:
“He’s a quality player, everybody gets first-ballers, and it’s just taken him 200 games!”He did pick up a bit of a niggle with his hamstring but the medical team will have a look at it.”But I’m expecting a big performance from him on Sunday.
The match on Sunday will be a firecracker as millions around the world will be glued to watch two of the best ODI sides clash for a place in the last 4 of the Champions Trophy