ICC World Cup 2019 India vs South Africa: Betting odds

ICC World Cup 2019 India vs South Africa: Betting odds

South Africa have a better head-to-head record against India in the World Cups. Photo credit: AFP

"Firstly, we are very happy that finally, we are going to start playing," said skipper Virat Kohli ahead of India's World Cup opener against South Africa.

Most teams have played a game or even two while India have had to wait. On the flip side, it could be argued that the Indians have got ample rest after a tiring IPL and are raring to go now. The second-ranked ODI team in the world has experienced a strange form in the format of late.

The side that clinched the ODI series in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand capitulated to Australia 2-3 and that too on home soil and after being 2-0 ahead. In the warm-up game against New Zealand, the side was bundled out for a paltry score.

But the worrisome factor was the Indian batting line-up's inability to counter swing bowling under overcast conditions. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and even Kohli looked hapless against a rampant Trent Boult, and that they are going to face a lot more swing bowling in English conditions is bound to give jitters to their fans.

Nevertheless, the batting line-up is capable of deciphering the answer to this problem and with KL Rahul staking a strong claim for the much-debated number four position after hammering a century against Bangladesh in the second warm-up. So, the team will be confident of putting up a good performance with the willow in hand.

India's bowling line-up is probably the strongest in their ODI history. The pace attack comprised of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami is menacing and sharp, while Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have formed a potent spin attack over the last couple of years. Though Yadav is now at his confident best after his poor outing at the IPL, a change of format can always bring a change in the form.

For India, the only bone of contention will be their middle order which has faltered in steep chases and also at times when the need of the hour was to up the ante to post a big total. MS Dhoni must bring out his A-game in arguably his last World Cup, while Kedar Jhadav and Hardik Pandya must provide the much needed finishing touches.

India will bank on the all-round performance of Pandya, who proved to be a trump card in Mumbai Indian's victorious 2019 IPL campaign. His destructive powers with the bat and the ability to take crucial wickets with the ball can prove to the X-factor India have been looking for all these times. Apart from Rahul, Vijay Shankar is also a contender for the number four position in the batting, and his '3D' expertise will provide India an extra all-rounder option. 

South Africa, on the other hand, are going through a miserable run of form. They have lost two out of two games, and it is the manner of those defeats that will give the dressing room a lot of headaches. In their first match, the team lost to England by a massive margin of 104 runs, as the host nation outplayed them in all departments of the game. 

In their second match, Bangladesh batsmen pumelled their pacers all over the park as Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi tried to pepper them with the short ball. When it came to chasing the total, their batting without the experience of Hashim Amla hobbled again, losing wickets at crucial junctures.

Against India, they have an arduous task of regaining their mojo and register a victory under the belt. That will be a tough task given their present condition, but India South Africa can take heart from their head to head record against India in the World Cup: 3 wins against a solitary defeat in the 2015 World Cup.

Probable XI: 

Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jhadav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah

South Africa:

Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), JP Duminy, Rassie van der Dussen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir

Betting odds: According to Oddschecker, South Africa 19/10, India 1/2

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