All eyes were glued to the TV sets on 15th Feb 2015. Roads sported a deserted look as India locked horns with their arch rivals Pakistan. Close to nine hours later, the whole of India erupted with joy and pleasure as the Men in Blue emerged victorious in the marquee clash. With this win, India took its undefeated streak against Pakistan in ICC World Cup’s to a formidable 6-0. One couldn’t have hoped for a better way to kick off India’s title defense. But after the much needed morale boosting victory, what awaits India is a much tougher and trickier battle with the men from Proteas.
When compared to Pakistan, South Africa is a much better team in every department. Their agile fielding and fierce fast bowling can send ripples down the opponent’s spine. Its batting lineup is a perfect medley of consistent run scorers and sloggers. De Kock, Amla, Du Plessis, Devilliers, Miller and Duminy undoubtedly form the most formidable batting line up of the world cup.
To make matters worse, India has never defeated South Africa in a World Cup encounter. This gives a slight psychological edge to Proteas but no one can commit the blunder of taking India lightly. India is keen on breaking the jinx but it surely won’t be easy.
Even the living legend, Sachin Tendulkar, has acknowledged that beating South Africa will definitely not be a walk in the park. Once the Men in Blue walk out on the field on Sunday, they will surely miss Sachin in their batting line up.
South Africa is being hailed as the favourites to win the coveted trophy. South Africa themselves are eager to shed their ‘Chokers’ tag. But in order to do so they will have to ensure that the pressure to win doesn’t end up choking them once again.
As far as team India is concerned, their disastrous tour down under shouldn’t cross their minds even for fraction of a second. India should take a lot of positives from their first encounter. Their hyped batting line up came good under immense pressure. Out of form batsmen Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina played crucial innings. India also displayed immense improvement in their fielding. Indian bowlers bowled their hearts out as well. But if they want to trouble South Africa’s fancy batting line up, they will have to do a lot more. All in all, South Africa should be wary of the highly motivated and skilled Mean in Blue.
The match should prove to be an enthralling contest and will surely go down to the wire. The winner of this highly anticipated match would emerge as the favourite to lift the World Cup. The stage is all set and the countdown has begun for one of the most awaited match of the World Cup.