The World Cup 2019 favourites India is all set to begin their campaign on Wednesday when they lock horns with South Africa in Southampton. The Virat Kohli-led side will be up against a South African team that is looking to make a comeback in this prestigious tournament after a dismal start. Faf du Plessis and co. have had forgettable outings in the first couple of matches that they have played.
First, the Proteas suffered a defeat at the hands of hosts England in the opening encounter by 104 runs and then lost to Bangladesh by 21 runs. But, it’s a long tournament and South Africa do have a chance to bounce back. On the other side, India is yet to play their first match. Despite the two losses, the South African team can’t be taken for granted and if the statistics are to be believed, they lead India 3-1 in the four matches been played between the two teams so far in the history of the tournament.
Here’s a look at those four matches
The first time the two teams played each other in a World Cup match was back in 1992 edition. This World Cup brought a lot of changes in the cricketing world. It was the first time when coloured jerseys were used, the first time when white balls were used and the first time when South Africa was taking part in the competition. A rain-affected match between the two teams was reduced to 30 overs per side and India were put into bat by Kepler Wessels.
Riding on captain Mohammad Azharuddin’s 79 off 77 and Kapil Dev’s quick-fire 29-ball 42, India scored 180/6. Later Andrew Hudson and Peter Kirsten posted an opening stand of 128 runs in the 181-run chase as the Proteas eventually completed the win by 6 wickets and five balls to spare.
The second time the two sides played against each was in 1999. India once again batted first and scored 253/5 after Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly went on to score individual half-centuries. Dravid struck 54 while Ganguly fell short of a ton by just 3 runs.
In reply, South Africa didn’t really start off well and was left tottering at 22/2 when Jacques Kallis took the charge and scored 96 to help his side win the match by 4 wickets and 16 balls to spare.
The third instance came in the 2011 edition that was hosted by India. The MS Dhoni-led side batted first in Nagpur and started off pretty well. Openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag stitched a 142 run-stand for the first wicket. Sehwag struck 73 while Tendulkar brought up another ODI hundred to eventually score 111. Gautam Gambhir who came in at number 3 also scored a half-century and India looked in good shape to post a big total. But fast bowler Dale Steyn had different plans as he bagged a fifer and restricted India to 296.
Later, half-centuries from Hashim Amla (61), Jacques Kallis (69) and AB de Villiers (52) and some brisk hitting by Faf du Plessis (25* off 23) and Robin Peterson (18* off 7) helped South Africa win the match by 3 wickets with two balls to spare.
The 2015 edition of the World Cup finished India’s drought against South Africa as they grabbed their first win in Melbourne. India batted first for the fourth time against South Africa in the prestigious tournament and courtesy, a fine hundred from Shikhar Dhawan, they posted 307/7 in allotted 50 overs.
In reply, to India’s 307, South Africa never got into the groove and lost the match by a huge margin of 130 runs.
With the fans from both the countries eagerly awaits this challenge, it is possible that few stoppages are expected in the match because of the rain forecast.
Hopefully, we will have a full game today.
Also, read our CWC FAQs on “What will happen if it rains in World Cup games?“
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