About the Match
The practice games are over. Now we are headed to a stage where a loss could mean curtains for the team on the losing side. On Thursday, 6th June 2013, India and South Africa lock horns in the first match of Group B and Champions Trophy at 09:30am GMT. The match would be played at Cardiff where the pitch is batting friendly once the batsman is in. Both India and South Africa have some demolishing players in their respective batting lineup and it would be interesting to see the two teams which are being considered favorites to win the trophy fare against each other.
Following a big controversy in IPL, the Indians have adjusted fairly well in the English conditions and the cricketing atmosphere. India’s strength is their batting with Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthick in fabulous form. After the first Warm-up game against Sri Lanka, Indian bowling attack looked weak, but with the arrival of Umesh Yadav, everyone seems to have found the rhythm. Indian bowlers bowled Australia out for just 65 runs which was the last thing everyone expected. Opening is a cause of concern for them and we might see Dinesh Karthick or Rohit Sharma opening the innings in this game. With excellent batting, flying fielding and good bowling, India is an extremely tough competitor in this tournament.
South African squad, on paper at least, is perhaps the strongest in the world. However, Cricket is played on field. South African batting failed miserably in their warm-up game against Pakistan and were folded for only 202. Jean Paul Duminy is in fine touch and big hitters like AB de Villiers and David Miller along with composed Amla in their lineup, it would be difficult to stop them from scoring big. Their bowling is led by Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel with Tsotsobe chipping in. The unavailability of Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis would surely hurt as this South African squad seems a little inexperienced. However, considering the recent performances of the players, they are a tough bunch of guys to get past.
With both team looking invincible on paper, it is hard to choose between the sides. Steyn is likely to miss this game due to injury which is a major setback for the South Africans. Indian opening problems need to be sorted out. It is an important game and Can India win emerge with a result similar to that of their practice games? Indian batting is looking in sublime form and with Dale Steyn missing the first match, it gets tilted towards India. I’d place my money on in-form and an overall better side.
India, 2.20 @ Bovada
Indian batting did exceedingly well in both the warm-up matches. The main stars of their batting were Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthick and MS Dhoni. With Virat Kohli in superb touch, he can conquer the bowling on his day. He has disappointed very rarely in the recent past and the poor run of Shikhar Dhawan makes the following bet even more lucrative.
Kohli v Dhawan - Batsman Match:
Virat Kohli, 1.73 @ William Hill