World Cup 2019, Match 8, India vs South Africa: Why India will win the match
The two-time World Cup winners, India will play their first match of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 versus Faf du Plessis' South African team in Southampton. While the Men in Blue are yet to play their first match, South Africa has already played 2 matches and has lost both of them.
The rainbow nation has never lost 3 consecutive matches in the ICC World Cup and Virat Kohli's army has a solid chance to break that record in the eighth game of the 2019 World Cup.
India will be able to pick their first-choice playing XI in the first game because all the 15 members of the squad are fit and ready to go. The same cannot be said of the South African team because they have lost Lungi Ngidi ahead of the clash versus India. Also, the team's star players, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn are dealing with injuries at the moment.
Though India has defeated South Africa only once in World Cup history, they are the favorites to win the 2019 World Cup group match. The last time when these two teams met in the ICC World Cup was in 2015 where India thrashed the Proteas.
In the previous ODI series played between the two teams, the spin duo of India, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal completely dismantled the South African team. The batsmen had no answer to the deliveries they bowled and the two spinners helped India win the ODI series comfortably.
The same bowlers can be backed to do well in the World Cup game because they know the English conditions very well. In fact, Kuldeep and Chahal picked 3 wickets each in the warm-up match against Bangladesh and this should be an alarming sign for the South African team.
Also, the middle order of the Indian team which is often considered the weakness of the team has three in-form batsmen in the form of KL Rahul, MS Dhoni, and Hardik Pandya. The South African bowling attack has negligible chances of troubling the Indian batsmen, especially at Southampton because the last time a one-day International was played at this venue, both the teams registered 350+ scores.and
India are the hot favorites to win the battle versus South Africa not only because the team is strong on paper but the Indian team would definitely be in a better mindset than South Africa while playing the match.