India bowl first v South Africa as both sides pick two spinners

  • Tabraiz Shamsi came into South Africa's injury-hit attack as they faced the daunting challenge of taking on India in the Cricket World Cup.
Modified 05 Jun 2019, 14:54 IST
Virat Kohli - cropped
India skipper Virat Kohli

India began their quest for a third Cricket World Cup title in Southampton with no real surprises in their starting line-up against South Africa, who also opted to select two spinners.

Virat Kohli's men were invited to bowl first on Wednesday after South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss on a track that looked set to produce a run-fest, with dry but cloudy conditions expected throughout the day.

South Africa have it all to do after defeats in their opening two matches, but they were at least able to welcome Hashim Amla back for what was almost a must-win game.

After recovering from a head injury sustained in the opening match of the tournament that forced him out of the loss against Bangladesh, Amla replaced Aiden Markram at the top of the order.

Tabraiz Shamsi also came into South Africa's injury-hit side, giving Du Plessis a second frontline spin option along with Imran Tahir.

India picked two slow bowlers as well, in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and KL Rahul were preferred to Mohammed Shami and Vijay Shankar.

The odds were certainly stacked against the Proteas - India having won five of their six last ODI contests against them - as they sought to avoid suffering a third successive World Cup defeat for the first time in their history.

Published 05 Jun 2019, 14:54 IST
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