Cricket: Will it be 1-3 against South Africa in the World Cup?

Published: February 16, 2015 - 17:13 Updated: June 30, 2015 - 16:01

After defeating Pakistan, Team India aims to break the South African jinx

Sandeep Kumar Delhi 

After three months of humiliating struggle Down Under, things finally turned out blue for the defending World Champions. A thumping 76 runs victory over the arch rival Pakistan turned Adelaide streets into Indian cities. Jubilant fans with painted faces, tricolor, vibrant attires; attention-grabbing placards simply stole away the moment from the wretched and traumatized Pakistani supporters. India prevailed over Pakistan once again, for the sixth time in the World Cup matches, with a superior batting display, and to add, with better nerve controlling moments. The India-Pakistan contest is always decided by X-factor, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a master of it. Moreover, India is very lucky to have a cool headed skipper who knows how to remain calm, amid emotions. 

After winning the most demanding match of the tournament, India will now be facing South Africa on the lively track of Melbourne. India has never managed to beat South Africa in any World Cup matches, so the pressure to break the jinx will be there. Shikhar Dhawan’s return to form is unquestionably a huge boost for the team. Once again, the batting division was led by Virat Kohli, but despite a century, he didn't look in his prime form. He struggled in the early stages and was dropped on two occasions.  Ravindra Jadeja's batting mystery remains unsolved. It seems that there is no end to his batting struggle. Suresh Raina's approach was flawless but his routine pull shots will be tested against South African pace battery. 

The only thing which would be giving a huge satisfaction to Dhoni is the bowling performance. Not only did the bowlers manage to put a check on the scoring rate, they also managed to pick all ten wickets against Pakistan- a rare sight for the Indian bowlers in the Australian conditions. Playing against the strong batting line up of South Africa will indeed be a tough challenge for the Indian bowlers.

So far, the World Cup has been a nightmare for the bowlers. A total of 300 or more runs has been scored in all the five matches played so far. Besides, the performance of Ireland, Scotland and Zimbabwe in the World Cup could possibly be a huge scare for the top ranked complacent teams. The presence of three minnows each in both groups favors an easy walk for top eight teams in the knock out stage. Ireland miraculously defeated West Indies in a one-sided affair as they chased down 304 runs in less than 46 overs. Even the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were seen struggling against the stern Zimbabwe batting line up. 

As, Team India will be facing these opponents on the tricky wickets of New Zealand, complacency is the only thing that they should avoid even if they win against South Africa on Sunday.