Predicting India's opening World Cup match against South Africa
Sri Lanka and Pakistan reversed their losses into a courageous display of intent, winning their second matches respectively. This confirms that no team can be complacent. All 10 teams are capable of beating any other team .
Can South Africa repeat the feat after being taken to the cleaners by Bangladesh? This question will be answered today.
In the last ODI at the Rose Bowl, England scored 373 and in reply Pakistan also scored 361. For purists this looks to be a quintessential flat track. Australia, however, only made 297 in a warm-up game, that too when Steve Smith scored a valiant century. Furthermore, England could only make 285 and tall bowlers did bulk of the damage. The venue can subvert one's expectations.
South Africa is going to miss Lungi Ngidi and Dale Steyn. They are replaced by average all-rounders like Dwayne Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris or Tabraiz Shamsi .
Their front line is affected by Hashim Amla's head injury. So Quinton de Kock and Faf Du Plessis need to up their game. JP Duminy is out of touch, so a daunting score of 300+ is not possible. The Proteas are also susceptible to India's spin pair of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
India can lose the match only if they score less than 270 in their outing. Or if Kagiso Rabada rips though India's front line. Frankly speaking, both situations are distant realities.
Verdict - India has winning odds, 4 to 1.