India v South Africa: Cricket World Cup 2023 – live | Cricket World Cup 2023
Ricky Ponting thinks that, independent of the psychology, batting first is a significant advantage for India on a dry, used pitch that should take spin. Ponting also reckons the easiest time to score runs will be against the new balls.
India are unchanged. South Africa bring in another spinner: Tabraiz Shamsi for Gerald Coetzee.
India Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.
South Africa de Kock (wk), Bavuma (c), van der Dussen, Markram, Klaasen, Miller, Jansen, Maharaj, Rabada, Ngidi, Shamsi.
“It’s not about the pitch but what we want to do as a team,” says the captain Rohit Sharma, which loosely translates as “These buggers score 350+ every time somebody puts them in.”
“Looking at the wicket, we would have batted first,” says the South African captain Temba Bavuma, which loosely translates as “We’d probably have batted first at Johannesburg in 1999”.
Ali Martin’s World Cup diary
Good morning. Let’s start with a paradox: the first dead rubber of the 2023 World Cup is also one of its most keenly anticipated games. India and South Africa have already qualified for semi-finals, which is precisely why this game is so mouthwatering. They have been the two best teams in the tournament, monstrously impressive in different ways. Now, on the 32nd day of the World Cup, they get to test one another’s mettle.
This might a dead rubber in terms of qualification for the
2025 Champions Trophy semi-finals, but that doesn’t mean it’s without practical significance. The winner (almost certainly) will top the league table and the loser (probably) will face Australia in the semi-finals. While neither team will fear the Aussies, the alternative is probably preferable.
Today’s game won’t decide who wins the World Cup, but it might give us a big fat clue – especially as there’s every chance India and South Africa will meet again in the final. It’s a fine day to put down a marker.
The match begins at 8.30am UK time, 2pm in Kolkata.