World Cup 2019, South Africa vs India: One player from each side who can make a match-winning impact
The eighth match of the World Cup 2019 will see South Africa take on India at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Wednesday. The fixture will be India’s first game of the tournament. Although India are coming into the World Cup on the back of a series loss against Australia, the Men in Blues' overall form in the last two years means that they are one of the top contenders to lift the trophy. India's strength lies in their top-order batting and they will back their openers to provide a good start. The bowling department, led by Jasprit Bumrah looks stronger than ever and will be key to India’s World Cup hopes.
On the other hand, South Africa have lost both their World Cup games so far and will be desperate for a win on Wednesday. Concern remains around the fitness of Lungi Ngidi, while Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn are expected to play. South Africa will want to lift their batting and hope for a more clinical display from their pacers. In this article, we will look at one player from each team who can make a match-winning impact in this encounter.
South Africa - Imran Tahir
South African captain Faf du Plessis sprung a surprise when he handed the first over of the World Cup to Imran Tahir. To his credit, Tahir repaid the trust by getting rid of Jonny Bairstow on the second ball of the match. He ended up with returns of 61/2, with his other wicket being that of England captain Eoin Morgan.
He continued his impressive form against Bangladesh with figures of 57/2. Again, he applied a squeeze in the middle overs by bagging the wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Mithun to restrict them below 350.
Like modern wrist-spinners, Tahir bowls quicker in the air (in excess of 90kmph) and keeps it stump-to-stump to deprive the batsmen of any room to work with.
Tahir, who is playing his last 50-over ICC tournament, has so far picked up 166 wickets from 100 games at an economy of just 4.66, with a career-best of 45/7. The 39-year-old will look to restrict India to revive South Africa's World Cup campaign.
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