SOUTHAMPTON – South Africa’s World Cup campaign is fast approaching the “do-or-die” stage. A victory over powerhouse India at the Rose Bowl could potentially be the shot in the arm they require to get their campaign back on track.
IOL Sport’s Zaahier Adams lists five things they need to do to put one over Virat Kohli’s Men in Blue.
Do it for Dale!
Instead of moping around about Dale Steyn’s return home, the Proteas can use it as a source of inspiration to send off their premier fast bowler in style.
“It is important that we don’t go take a left turn into negative town,” Proteas captain Faf du Plessis said.
Steyn is the ultimate team man and he will hate the fact that he has been unable to make a contribution to the team’s cause in England and Wales. Now is the time for the rest of the Proteas to step up and show they can turn around their World Cup fortunes without their former talisman.
“Something we have always been good at is when our backs are against the wall, we fight,” Du Plessis added.
Light a fire under KG
Kagiso Rabada has been quiet so far in this World Cup. It has only been off-field noise for the SA fast bowler due to a quote in a magazine article where he referred to India captain Kohli as “immature”.
Kohli brushed it aside yesterday saying: “Well, I played against him many times and if anything needs to be discussed, we can discuss it man-to-man. I’m not using a press conference to answer anything.”
SA will hope that’s the red flag Rabada needed to be waved to get the juices flowing again. The greats find their mojo in times of need. SA desperately need a snorting KG at the Rose Bowl.
Someone get a 100, anyone!
SA’s batting showed signs of promise in the defeat to Bangladesh when everyone found some form. However, there were still too many scores between 40 and 60 and that is not going to hurt the opposition.
“We did some good things. But myself included, you know, you need to go through and score 100s. That’s what’s going to win you matches, not 30s and 40s,” Du Plessis said.
It is going to be a tough task to turn it around against a high-quality Indian attack led by Jasprit Bumrah, but it simply has to be done. If it comes from anyone in the top order, it will also instil confidence all the way down the batting line-up.
Watch an old Jonty DVD
SA have traditionally set the standard for fielding, particularly in ODI cricket, around the world. The opposition looked at the Proteas in awe for their athleticism and agility on the boundary and in the inner circle. During this period they had the iconic Jonty Rhodes leading the way.
SA’s fielding has been a long way off that high standard for some time, and they were particularly poor against Bangladesh at The Oval. A team movie night just watching Rhodes and his fellow former Proteas throw themselves around with intent could hopefully inspire the current unit to a higher level.
India's 12th man - Shut out the crowd noise
India are the last team to start their World Cup campaign and their fans have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to watch their team. They will come out in their 1000s tomorrow and transform the Rose Bowl into the Hyderabad Bowl.
There will be horns, there will be streamers, and there will be cacophony of noise. The South Africans cannot allow the explosion every time a wicket falls to intimidate them.
Conquering India’s 12th man will be half the battle won.@ZaahierAdams