IND vs SA: What score should South Africa be restricted to for India to win its World Cup opener?
The Indian cricket fans all across the world will be gearing up for a high-voltage clash as India will be facing off against South Africa in the former's opening game of the ICC World Cup 2019 at The Rose Bowl, Southampton on 5th June 2019.
On the back of a convincing victory against Bangladesh in the warm-up match, India will be coming into the opening game with confidence while on the other hand, South Africa are yet to claim their first win of the competition with losses against England and Bangladesh in their first two encounters.
Boasting of world-class batsmen in the form of Quinton de Kock, skipper Faf du Plessis and young sensation Rassie van der Dussen, the South African team has failed to crack the algorithm to chasing successfully and are yet in the quest to claim their opening win.
In this article, we have a look at the most ideal total India much restrict South Africa to in order to give themselves the best chance to chase it down and claim a victory. With South Africa assumed to score more than 250 runs if they bat first, here are the statistics -
South Africa has two wins from three games at Southampton, India has one win
At The Rose Bowl in Southampton where South Africa will be squaring off against India, the former has won on three occasions lost to England by two runs in their most recent contest at this venue in 2017. Hashim Amla averages 87 at this venue while Quinton de Kock scored a magnificent 98 but ended on the wrong side of the result.
India, though, has just the one win from three games at this venue that too against Kenya, back in 2004 and have lost to England on two occasions since, once in 2007 and then in 2011.
How well have teams done chasing at Southampton?
Since the last 10 years, the Rose Bowl has hosted six games in which teams batting first have scored 250+. From those matches, the results have been a mixed bag, with the chasing teams winning three and losing three.
How has India fared while chasing?
Since 2017, India has chased targets of 250+ on 12 occasions and have won seven times, with a win percentage of 58.33%. They have lost only on four occasions, with three of those losses coming in India and one in Australia.
Yet, the interesting factor to consider is the fact that in England, India has won both its matches while chasing 250+ while overall, since 2011, India has won 27 of its matches chasing over 250 while losing only 11 games.
What is the ideal score for India to chase down?
Considering the strength in the South African batting unit, one can easily expect them to get to over 250 and a score of 290 or below could be the ideal score to chase for India.
While one could argue that South Africa's bowling attack will be depleted in the absence of Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi, the seaming conditions have often troubled the Indian batsmen and any score less than run-a-ball will be a rather easy task for the Indian batting line-up.
With MS Dhoni averaging above 80 in ODI cricket in 2019 and skipper Kohli averaging above 55, the Indian middle order could well play around these two top batsmen. Further, Shikhar Dhawan's two centuries out of his five in ICC tournaments have come against South Africa and if these three batsmen enjoy a good outing, then it would only be about getting across the line without much ado.
Also read - Best bowling figures in world cup