ICC World Cup 2019 – Match 8: South Africa vs India – South Africa Predicted Playing XI

What changes will South Africa make to its eleven to recover from the early blows in the tournament?

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Faf du Plessis & Aiden Markram
Faf du Plessis & Aiden Markram. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Perhaps, two losses in two games is clearly what South Africa wouldn’t have wanted right at the start of the World Cup. The team’s performances in both the outings thus far have been obscure and fallible. While the first loss against England could have been anticipated, their loss to Bangladesh was bitterly disappointing. One could come up with an argument as the injuries have hindered their shows. But, conceding over 300 runs on two not-so batting-friendly pitches is something that is dispiriting.

As skipper, Faf du Plessis hopes for a change of fortunes with a change of plans, the team gears up to face another tournament-favourite, India. By no means, the Proteas can afford a hat-trick of losses. But at the same time, defeating India will not be easy either. The last time these two teams met for a bilateral ODI series, South Africa had to bag all the embarrassment after a 1-5 loss in the 6-match series. There could be a few changes to the eleven for the upcoming game with a possible return of some of the injured players.

Here is the Predicted Playing XI for South Africa:

Openers (Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla)

Thus far, Quinton de Kock’s 68 against England has been the highest score by a South African batsman. While the wicket-keeper batsman is in the middle of a great run, he was unlucky to have got run out in the last game. He was involved in a terrible mix-up and had to pay the price. He will be the key against India and must get a big score.

Hashim Amla could be back in the eleven in place of Aiden Markram. He’s had enough time to recover from the blow that he got on his helmet against England. With two back-to-back centuries in the warm-up games, he showed signs of good form. Since he is a good player of spin as well as pace, he is surely likely to be the preferred choice over Markram if fit.

Middle Order (Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller)

Rassie van der Dussen
Rassie van der Dussen. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The best batting position for Faf du Plessis in this line-up is at three. He should play to his strengths and shouldn’t look to bat anywhere down the order. The South African skipper did put his best efforts with the bat against Bangladesh with a 53-ball 62. But he couldn’t get the team over the line. Faf has done well in the IPL and is in good form. Just as India’s top-three, this top-three batsmen will be crucial for the Proteas.

Rassie van der Dussen is an excellent find for South Africa and he is living up to the expectations. But he should see to it that he doesn’t throw the starts away. He’s got both the attacking and defensive game. Being a good player of spin bowling, he will hope to bring up a good performance in the upcoming game. David Miller could get another opportunity in this match as he has the ability to change the game on its head with his aggressive batting.

All Rounders (JP Duminy, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Dwaine Pretorius)

Chris Morris
Chris Morris. (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

JP Duminy, the senior-most batsman in the South African line-up, did fairly well against Bangladesh. He scored 45 runs off 37 balls and looked threatening at one stage. However, he lacked support from the other end and couldn’t do it all by himself. South Africa could explore the option of sending Duminy up the order at either four or five while David Miller will take up the role of the finisher in the team.

Both Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris picked up two wickets each in the last game. While the former conceded 52 runs in 10 overs, Morris ended up giving 73 runs. Since they operate mostly in the middle overs, they should look to bowl tighter lines and lengths. With the bat, they couldn’t contribute much and should improve in this aspect of the game.

Dale Steyn is ruled out of the tournament. This will open the doors for Dwaine Pretorius to make it into the eleven. He has been quite impressive in recent times and does well in the middle overs. He will also have an important role with the ball if needed. One of these three fast bowlers should also open the bowling and test the Indian openers early in the innings.

Bowlers (Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir)

Imran Tahir
South Africa’s Imran Tahir. (Photo by WIKUS DE WET/AFP/Getty Images)

In both the games that he played so far, Kagiso Rabada was quite expensive. While he picked up two wickets against England, he was wicketless in the match against Bangladesh. South Africa will need him to adjust to the conditions quickly and bowl better if they are to fancy their chances in the tournament. Imran Tahir, on the other hand, is doing a good job. Though, even he needs to focus on restricting the run-scoring rates.

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