Litmus Test For India Against South Africa




Team India

Team India

The super Saturday gears up for the showdown of ultimate dominance between the two most anticipated teams of this world cup. The Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium has its stage set as India takes on South Africa under lights at Nagpur this 12th. The countdown for the most awaited group stage match is only a day away as the public is due for some lightening fireworks.

The ‘chokers’ proved themselves once again against England last week at Chepauk. The catastrophic collapse of the South African middle order gave a sigh of relief for England to keep their hopes alive for a quarterfinal berth. Strong words lined up from the skipper Greame Smith “We have a week’s time preparation for taking down the Indians”. India on the other hand made themselves to sweat against both the minnows even though the outcome turned out to be the predicted result. However, India will have to pull up its socks and plan out strategies against tougher opponents which are queued up from the 12th of this month.

MS Dhoni would like to put behind the ODI series loss to South Africa last month and thrive forward with confidence of being the only side next to Australia of not losing a single match in this world cup. But if the Indians would want to carry the winning momentum into the quarters then Dhoni and Gary Kirsten have their task cut out to get their strategies spot on starting right away. Speculations floated in air when Ashwin did not get a spot in the playing eleven against the Dutch. You can build confidence for the team in hand but for an entire squad, it’s too much for the asking. Ashwin might be a bowler with extreme mental toughness but sheer 14 wickets in pocket and enormous home pressure calling, raises some nerves for anybody.

The batting experimentation against Netherlands proved too hot Dhoni’ men as he himself had to have a taste of his poison. Yusuf Pathan serves as dangerous customer and his true honey can only be extracted if he bats down at no. 6 or no. 7. The only switch left for Dhoni is the no. 4 spot where both Kholi and Yuvraj are capable of raising the curtains slowly against any opposition. Controversial arguments wrap around Dhoni’s decision to bowl first against Ireland even though the bowlers got an opportunity to raise the standard of bowling in the last couple of matches. Having said that, Dhoni must not expect competitive opponents to go easy with his bowlers even against his frontline spinner or seamer if he puts the opposition to bat first.

The hot blowing sun at Jamtha calls for another thriller between two great cricketing nations to stimulate what has been an astounding tournament. Will India sail over the undefeated streak or will the Proteas bounce back raising an alarm to the rest? It all comes down to this whether Dhoni’s men can deliver the goods and beat the odds.

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Karthik Gopalan

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Hello, I am Karthik aged 19, pursuing B.Tech Computer Science and Engineering in SASTRA UNIVERSITY, TANJORE. I have always had an interest in journalism and computers right from the beginning. With computers as my profession and journalism being my part time career, I would enjoy every single day of my work. I have passion for writing articles (mainly sports) and doing presentations and I got this opportunity through “The Sports Mirror” to unleash my work as an article writer and I am looking this as the stepping stone for my success in the future.

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