Most of the Indian population and half of the world was waiting for the Indian team’s first encounter in the 12th edition of the ICC World Cup 2019 against South Africa. India’s first match was one of the most anticipated in this World Cup season, for the ODI form currently India possesses, with Skipper Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah ranked as no.1 in ODI batting and bowling respectively. On the other hand, South Africa was already slumping with 2 consecutive early losses against England and Bangladesh, having two important players, Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi injured and sitting in the dugout.
The match was a crucial one for South Africa to work their way into the World Cup qualifiers starting with a victory, but India wasn’t letting their first match out of their hands so easily as India eased past the Proteas squad to register their first win of the season. India’s bowling attack led by Jasprit Bumrah had been in the talks for quite a while, and the bowlers proved why so, as they never let the Proteas batsmen settle at the crease after South Africa opted to bat first on winning the toss. Bumrah himself finished off the two openers Hashim Amla (6 out; 9b; 1X4) and Quinton de Kock (10 out; 17b; 1X4) early in the game and ended his 10 overs with an appalling economy rate of 3.50. While the spin sensation, Yuzvendra Chahal played a phenomenal game, at first dismissing 2 set batsmen, South African Captain Faf du Plessis (38 out; 54b; 4X4) and Rassie van der Dussen (22 out; 37b; 1X4) in a single over, then taking up 2 more in his later overs and sparing just 51 runs in his 10 overs. Andile Phehlukwayo (34 out; 61b; 2X4, 1X6), Chris Morris (42 out; 34b; 1X4, 2X6) and Kasigo Rabada (31 not out; 35b; 2X4) did play some important cameos to help South Africa put a target of 227 on board after losing 9 wickets in 50 overs.
South African pacers Kasigo Rabada and Chris Morris, started with a really good spell to counter the Indian batting attacks, but lack of team cooperation and mis-fielding’s added to their misery and India bagged an easy win. Kasigo Rabada fired his spells and after breaking Shikhar Dhawan’s (8 out; 12b; 1X4) bat he managed to take his wicket as well. Skipper Kohli (18 out; 34b; 1X4) did not contribute much, neither the no.4 batsmen K.L Rahul (26 out; 42b; 2X4), which still leaves the question of the Indian batting line up and specially the no.4 spot. Rohit Sharma (122 not out; 144b; 13X4, 2X6) played a sensation knock of 122 off 144 balls, standing as an anchor for the team. However, with the catches dropped by Kasigo Rabada, David Miller, the Proteas even failed to deliver a tough fight, as India lived up to their ODI reputation, registering their first win in this year’s ICC World Cup.