India’s long wait to get their World Cup campaign underway is nearly over as they will face South Africa at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday.
Virat Kohli’s side have had to watch on as the nine other teams in the tournament have all played at least one match and they will fancy their chances of making a winning start against a South Africa side that are entering must-win territory after losing to both England and Bangladesh.
In fairness, India’s form has been patchy in One Day International’s of late, as they lost to New Zealand in a World Cup warm-up last month, while they were beaten 3-2 by Australia in their last ODI series.
That said, the Men in Blue do have an impressive World Cup record, as they won the competition in 2011 before reaching the semi-finals four years ago.
India’s record against South Africa in ODI’s is also impressive, as they have won six of the last seven 50-over matches between the two teams, with the Proteas’ only success during that time coming in Johannesburg in February last year.
The match at the Rose Bowl is not the only World Cup game taking place on Wednesday, as the first day-nighter of the tournament will see Bangladesh and New Zealand go head-to-head at The Oval.
Both Bangladesh and New Zealand began their World Cup campaigns with impressive wins, with the Tigers edging out the more fancied South Africans, while the Black Caps produced an emphatic 10-wicket thrashing of Sri Lanka.
The manner of New Zealand’s victory in Cardiff particularly caught the eye, with all six bowlers chipping in with wickets, including three apiece for Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson, while openers Martin Guptill (73) and Colin Munro (58) both made unbeaten half-centuries.
With the likes of Ross Taylor and captain Kane Williamson also in the batting line-up, New Zealand should have more than enough strength in depth to beat Bangladesh and then maybe eventually go on to reach a second successive World Cup final.
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