by – Arjun Prasad
Time: 7:00 am IST
Date: 22nd Feb
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Sunday witnesses the first high profile clash in the world cup as defending champions India take on a dominant South African side. The sold out MCG will play the perfect host as the topper from group B might just be decided by the match’s outcome.
South Africa looks like a well balanced outfit on the whole and they demonstrated it with a fine win over Zimbabwe. The middle order duo of Duminy and Miller were pretty much unstoppable against their African rivals and will be rearing to go against a feeble Indian pace attack. The top order which has been sound, surprisingly failed to click in the opening match and the likes of Amla and De Kock will be expected to come good against India. The Proteas enter the bout as favorites having already beaten India on 3 world cup occasions and they will look to make it 4 on the trot.
India looked woeful in the last couple of months. But a win against Pakistan is all they needed to rejuvenate themselves. Dhoni and company opened their world cup campaign in fine style drubbing arch rivals Pakistan and they will look to carry the same momentum into the South Africa clash. But, unlike Pakistan, South Africa are a force to reckon with in all departments and hence India must be at their best if they stand a chance to derail the Proteas.
X Factor – Steyn vs Kohli is the ‘mouthwatering’ clash everyone is looking forward to. Both players are hitting their purple patch and will be the life of the competition. Kohli’s aggression combined with Steyn’s fearce bowling will certainly light up the MCG and will be a treat to watch for the neutrals.
The ICC World Cup Match will be shown live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD 1, while the live-streaming will be available on Starsports.com in the sub-continent.
Those in the UK can see it live on Sky Sports 2 which has been telecasting as Sky Sports World Cup. For live streaming, they can access Sky Go.
Live Score: www.icc-cricket.com
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ambati Rayudu, Axar Patel.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (capt), David Miller, JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir, Wayne Parnell, Kyle Abbott, Aaron Phangiso, Rilee Rossouw.