Team India will take on South Africa in a top-of-the-table clash in the 2023 ODI World Cup at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday. Both sides have officially qualified for the semi-finals on the back of their exceptional league-stage campaign but will have an eye on the top spot when they lock hands with each other.
The Men in Blue have had a near-perfect campaign, demolishing opponents left, right, and center. Their most recent victim came in the form of a hapless Sri Lanka side, who lost by a massive 302-run margin to help India take their net run rate close to that of South Africa.
Temba Bavuma and company, on the other hand, have also garnered significant momentum through their winning run. They recently swept past teams like Pakistan and New Zealand to make it to the semi-finals after missing out in the 2019 edition.
Rain made a presence in the tournament during the warm-up matches stage, and also recently during the crucial clash between Pakistan and New Zealand. The tie in Bengaluru was washed out due to rain, with the Men in Green securing two points courtesy of the DLS method.
However, rain should not pose to be a threat in the upcoming clash between India and South Africa in Kolkata. According to Accuweather, there will be significant cloud cover throughout the day, which will impact the captain's decision after winning the toss, but it should not lead to rainfall.
As a result, a full and uninterrupted clash is expected to be on show at the Eden Gardens.
"I doubt you would say that about India as well if they come unstuck if they would choke " - Temba Bavuma
South Africa's tryst with ICC tournaments has been well-documented. Even in the 2022 T20 World Cup, they failed to make it to the semi-finals after a strong start in the Super 12s stage. They lost to Pakistan and the Netherlands towards the end and finished third in the group.
South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma was questioned during the pre-match press conference about the side's tendency to choke when it came to the big moments.
"To choke? I don't know how to answer that. I think if we come unstuck tomorrow, I don't think it'll be a matter of choking. I doubt you would say that about India as well if they come unstuck if they would choke," he replied.
"You got two teams who are in-form, coming up against each other and I think it's just a matter of who breaks first and who's able to I guess, exploit that moment or that weakness," Bavuma added.
Who will win the upcoming contest between India and South Africa at the 2023 T20 World Cup? Let us know what you think.