India and South Africa are two of the most favoured teams of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. India are on the back of a string of very good performances and have managed to keep on track with their World Cup ambitions. South Africa, on the other end, came into this World Cup as an angry side- angry at being termed as “chokers”. They looked like a team on a mission and that resonated perfectly in their first few performances. However, their recent loss to England in a thrilling encounter has put the noise-makers at work again.
This match is arguably the best one in this tournament and will be extremely closely fought. It’s a tough call to make on who will hear the fat lady singing. Here are some things you should look out for.
Most runs scored
The stakes for most runs scored are interesting ones. For India, the expected run-getters haven’t changed much. Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag are still touted to be the destroyers of the opposition. Other front-runners are Yuvraj Singh, who has looked to hit a bit of form, and Gautam Gambhir. On the Nagpur pitch, it will almost definitely be a run-fest and hence, you can bet on one of the top order players to get big runs- in spite of South Africa having a top-notch bowling attack.
For South Africa, it has only been two players who have managed to perform thus far- Hashim Amla and de Villiers. The question is, will they keep clicking? And, of course, will they do so against India? The prospects don’t seem too dim and Hashim Amla favours the Indian conditions and bowlers.
Available odds: Sachin Tendulkar @ 4.00; Virender Sehwag @ 4.50; Amla @ 4.33; De Villiers @ 5.00
that_guy’s bet: Virender Sehwag @ 4.00; Amla @ 4.33 (Sportingbet)
The Proteas have a reputation of being the strongest all-round bowling squad over the last decade or so. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel will lead the pack and getting Sehwag out will be their top priority. However, it’s unlikely that they will do much with the older ball on a pitch like the one in Nagpur. A lot of pressure will be on Botha and Robin Peterson, as Imran Tahir is out for at least the next 10 days. Kallis will complete the 5th bowler slot.
India still have a bit of a bother with the bowling department. The win against Ireland was comfortable but they would rather judge their bowling attack on the basis of performances against the bigger teams and that’s where they lack. If patterns are to be believed, Zaheer Khan is almost definitely going to get Graeme Smith out! Who else will he get? Hard to tell but he would be the best choice among the Indian bowlers. Munaf, Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla haven’t looked all that dangerous but they could have their day against that inexperienced middle order. So could Yuvraj.
Available odds: Zaheer Khan @ 3.00; Harbhajan @ 4.33; Dale Steyn @ 2.875; Johan Botha @ 4.00
that_guy’s bet: Zaheer Khan @ 3.00; Johan Botha @ 4.00 (Sportingbet)
This one is tough to call and numbers cannot express too much when big teams face off. They’re equally-matched teams. Will skill pay off or will the home team grab the advantage?
Available odds: India @ 1.70; South Africa @ 2.10
that_guy’s bet: India @ 1.70 for a dominant win. (Sportingbet)
Kallis and Kohli will get runs.