About the Match
India’s emphatic victory against Australia strengthened their self-belief as they sailed smoothly to the semi-finals; now the South African challenge awaits them on Apr 4th at Dhaka in a much anticipated contest of the series. South Africa defeated England by a close margin of 3 runs to reserve their much-deserved place in the semi-finals whereas India had booked their spot even before their huge win against Australia, with three straight wins in the group stage. When the two sides had met a few months back on India’s tour of South Africa, the men in blue were disadvantaged and were on the back foot in almost all the encounters; however, with the sub-continent conditions posing a different set of challenges, the contest can swing either way.
The spinners have positively shaped the continued success of the team here and they will be key resources in the match against South Africa; Amit Mishra’s superb spell in recent matches gave them a definite much-needed advantage against the varied opponents and Ashwin has been in good form too. Jadeja, Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have taken regular wickets and have been bowling tight spells to contain the batsmen. Compared to a few months back, when the team was criticised for its overseas performance, the bowling squad has come forward leaps and bounds to contribute majorly to their dominance against specialist batsmen. While the bowling efforts are commendable, the batting too shows great promise; Kohli, Raina, Rohit and Dhoni got good scores and even Yuvraj’s return to form hold the key. Against Australia, he had scored 60 runs off 43 deliveries; however a minor injury suffered during practice could be a cause for concern for the team. The top order batsmen are in good shape and the middle order has performed well too whenever the situation arose; the players are motivated and they will surely make it difficult for the Proteas on Friday.
The team has the right balance in its bowling attack; Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn are a deadly combination that had India in messy situations many a times. However, the batsmen will be worried about their challenges against the Indian spinners; even though most of the players have been playing regularly in the IPL and have faced tense situations, this is a different ball game altogether. AB de Viliers and Hashim Amla have been successful in scoring good totals and building strong partnerships; they will have to fight harder against the Indian bowlers like Mishra, Ashwin and Kumar. Quinton and Duminy too have great talents to assist them in this format of the game but they need to keep a cool head above their shoulders and support the team in getting to a good total. Wayne Parnell, Hendricks and Albie Morkel have been efficient with the wickets but need to find better rhythm under pressure. Overall, the team has done well to reach this stage and are looking confident to cross the hurdles here and take their campaign ahead.
The contest will be a tough one and will see the Indian spinners battling it out with the South African batsmen; though the Proteas have the experience and a tight bowling attack, the Indian batsmen look highly motivated to avenge their humiliating defeat in South Africa last year. While there will be many ups and downs throughout the contest, India looks confident to reach the finals.
India, 1.61 @ Bet365