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India vs South Africa World Cup 2019: Who has the better fielders and how can it impact the game?

Karthik Raj
04 Jun 2019, 19:49 IST

India will begin their World Cup campaign after a relatively long wait on June 5 when they face up against South Africa. Meanwhile, South Africa are coming off a bad start with two consecutive losses against England and Bangladesh.

Going into this game, fielding abilities of both South Africa and India will be on the spotlight. South Africa, traditionally a fantastic fielding team have been off the boil for a while. Meanwhile, India have had a mixed bag in the last few years.

So which team can be expected to come on top with respect to fielding?

When it comes to South Africa, the team has lacked intensity on the field for quite a while and that continued against Bangladesh as they dropped catches and misfielded on countless occasions. The Proteas will have to buckle up in this department. It is not as if the current South African have an inherently bad fielding unit. The likes of Faf du Plessis, David Miller and Aiden Markram are world-class fielders. Even the team's pacers, Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris are known to be pretty safe on the field.

But, their ability has to reflect on the field because if South Africa drop the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan or Virat Kohli, it can come back to haunt them. Also, Kohli, KL Rahul and MS Dhoni are the kind of players who are well-known for their ability to steal an extra run or two. South Africa have to keep this in mind and stay alert during such situations. Also, if the likes of Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi and Dwaine Pretorius play, the team has to find ways to manage their relatively inferior fielding skills.

On the other hand, India also have their fair share of good and bad fielders. India have magnificent fielders in the form of Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja, in particular, is often considered as one of the world's best fielders. He has the ability to create a chance out of nothing. Even Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul renowned for their brilliant catching skills. All the above-mentioned players would have to offset the extra runs that might be conceded by players like Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav etc.

Overall, there isn't much of a difference with respect to the fielding skills of these two teams but South Africa can be termed as a slightly better group as a whole. South Africa will especially need their fielding to stand up as it can save 20-30 runs. Those runs might prove to be pivotal for the Proteas considering that India are probably the better all-round ODI side.

Meanwhile, India will want a complete performance to start off their World Cup campaign on the best possible note. On the whole, fielding will be a priority for both these sides and one has to wait and watch in order find out which team comes out top with respect to the fielding charts

Also read - Most catches in world cup

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