What will Virat Kohli choose if he wins the toss in India's WC opener against SA?
India will be commencing its World Cup 2019 campaign against South Africa at The Rose Bowl in Southampton and will be eyeing a perfect start to the campaign, following a mixed bag of results from the warm-up encounters.
The South African squad, on one hand, have a lot to ponder on with defeats in their opening two games against England and Bangladesh ending in losses that have already dented their campaign in this edition of the tournament.
India, on the other hand, will be hoping to turn their fortunes at The Rose Bowl, where they last won an ODI match in 2004 against Kenya. However, India will come into the game with a certain advantage, having won six out of seven games contested between these two sides in the past two years.
In the last five matches, the average first innings score at the venue has been 311 while the average winning score is 336. While the flat tracks in England are certain to pose for yet another high scoring game, India might fancy bowling first on this track.
Given the fact that India will be playing its first match on a track that has not been used yet in this World Cup, it might be ideal for the Indian team to put the low in confidence South African batting unit to test in the seaming conditions and understand the behaviour of the pitch before they come out to bat.
Additionally, with the openers in recent times unable to negotiate the swinging ball up front, Kohli might want to ensure that the pacers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah make the most of the movement early on and pile the pressure on the opposition early on.
With the overcast conditions bound to make batting a slightly arduous task, India will be best off chasing, with a firm idea of how to construct the chase and the conditions in hand. With India clinching 27 victories from 40 games in chases since 2011, chasing could be India's strong suit.
Also read - World cup most man of the match