The leaders of group 2, India and South Africa, face off today at the Optus Stadium. India climbed to the top of the table on Thursday after a comfortable victory over the Netherlands. The proteas, on the other hand, have the best Net run rate (NRR) of group 2 after they beat Bangladesh by 104 runs.
As of now, both India and South Africa look like serious contenders to move into the next round of the ICC T20 World cup. Having said that, it will be important to finish 1st on the table and see who will be the opponents from the other table.
The Indian side has been good with the ball in their first two matches. “Batsmen win you matches, and bowlers win you tournaments”, according to Ravi Shastri. Playing without Jasprit Bumrah seemed to be a major concern for India, but the way Shami, Kumar, Arshdeep, Ashwin, Axar, and Pandya are bowling, the Indian bowling line-up seems to be working perfectly.
In the previous match against the Netherlands, the top four of the batting line-up did the job for team India. KL Rahul is yet to score big, but half-centuries from Rohit, Kohli, and Surya Kumar have been a positive for India. The main man, of course, in the batting has been King Kohli. He is the highest run scorer since the Super 12 has begun. Two consecutive fifties against Pakistan and the Netherlands. He seems to be playing like the vintage Kohli. The starts are slow, but he is someone who knows when to push the gear and change the game.
South Africa, on the other hand, has been equally good. The game against Bangladesh silenced a lot of critics. The Indian bowlers will watch out for Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw. Rilee will come into the game with a lot of confidence after scoring a blistering century against Bangladesh.
The South African bowlers come with some lethal pace. Rabada, Nortje, and Parnell can click 150 kms/h in the blink of an eye. The two spinners, Keshav Maharaj and Shamsi, have a knack for picking up wickets in the middle. The Indian batsmen love the pace, but Kohli has been prey to Rabada a few times in the past.
Will it be India or South Africa at the top of the table is something we will have to wait for till the end of the match. As fans, we need to hope that there is no rain today and that the course of the game can be completed.