India’s 2019 World Cup campaign is yet to get underway and their first encounter is against South Africa on June 5 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. India is one of the favourites to get its hands on the coveted trophy. However, South Africa have a 3-1 lead over India when it comes to World Cup encounters. Twenty years ago when the mega event was also held in England, the two teams had met each other in their first encounter in Hove and it was SA who had the last laugh. In 2019, however, the background is different.
South Africa have lost both their games in the World Cup so far and will be under immense pressure to come back into the competition. However, it won’t be too easy against an Indian side which has been playing good cricket over the past several months. Virat Kohli’s team will be launching their campaign in that game against Faf du Plessis’ side and would like to capitalise on the South Africans’ dented morale. JP Duminy, a key member of the South African line-up, feels they need just one good performance to turn things around but conceded that India too was a “big threat”.
South Africa was outmatched by a strong English side and a professional Bangladesh display in successive matches and fumbled to chase down 300-plus targets on both occasions. Their bowling too has looked inexperienced, allowing the opponents to run away with big totals often.
“I don’t think we are far away. We were 21 runs short and we can identify areas where we could have made that up whether the bat or the ball,” Sportstar cited reports quoting Duminy as saying after South Africa tasted their defeat against Bangladesh. The left-hand batting all-rounder, who scored a mere eight against England, tried to lead a South African revival against the Tigers with a 37-ball 45 but succumbed to the rising pressure of the chase.
“We are one good performance away from creating a bit of momentum,” he added.
Duminy picks MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli as the biggest threats
Duminy said India have a lot of match-winners, adding that the Asians rely on spinners and made a special mention of the in-form Jasprit Bumrah. He also singled out India captain Virat Kohli and the hugely experienced Mahendra Singh Dhoni but reminded that the structure of the tournament leaves very little difference between teams and that’s it’s all about the performance on the day.