Whether Proteas captain AB de Villiers watches the movie series The Hangover or not is still up for debate.
What he did borrow from the hilarious comedy trilogy is the term “wolf pack”.
Against a well-drilled and talented Indian team, they will need all of their collective skills to overcome a side stacked with brilliant individuals.
South Africa have their own talented batch, but man-on-man India look just a bit better.
Since they play more limited-overs cricket, they are not as wet behind the ears as the Proteas.
While experience may have its part, that factor, along with reputation, may come to nothing. India have yet to win this trophy while South Africa will look to bury their chokers tag.
Key match-up:JP Duminy vs Ravichandran Ashwin India have a pace battery which may have found the conditions in the Isles to their liking, but spin on the flat Swalec Stadium track will come into the equation.
As threatening as Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and the rest of the Indian pace contingent can be, South Africa is the one team in Group B that is well-equipped to handle them.
De Villiers and Hashim Amla may be South Africa’s most accomplished players of spin, but JP Duminy’s battle with magician Ravichandran Ashwin could be the most compelling.
Duminy is making his way back into international cricket after a long injury, but his battles with quality off-spin are well known.
If there is any turn on offer, Ashwin could be the one bowler to give Duminy hell.
South Africa could be without Dale Steyn, who has a mild side strain. That would be good news for India, especially Shikhar Dhawan, who is deficient against the moving ball.
India could be going into the match with three seamers, especially after Yadav’s and Sharma’s above-average performances against Australia in Cardiff on Tuesday.
They may have two part-timers in Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina, but with only four fielders allowed outside the circle at any time, they could be risky.
Hashim Amla, Alviro Petersen, Colin Ingram, AB de Villiers (C & WK), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt/Dale Steyn, Morné Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Buvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
What the captains said:
“We’ll have to come like a pack of wolves. There will be no excuses before or after the game about the conditions, the crowd or anything like that. We’re here to win,” said Proteas captain AB de Villiers.
“None of the trophies go to my cabinet. What you need to realise is that it is for team India,” said Indian captain MS Dhoni.
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