[India], June 4 (ANI): India are set to lock horns with South Africa in their opening match of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup at the Rose Bowl, Southampton on June 5.
The then Indian team, Kapil Dev's devils declined the Clive Lloyd-led West Indies treble in the 1983 World Cup final at the Lord's, registering India's first-ever victory at the marquee event. 23 years later, former skipper MS Dhoni re-created history in 2011 edition at home against Sri Lanka. Now in its 12th edition, all eyes are fixed on Virat Kohli to lift the trophy.
Known as Proteas, South Africa are considered as chokers in the tournament history. The tag has not left them as the team has never gone past the semi-final stage in the World Cup. The Proteas reached semi-finals on four occasions -- 1992, 1999, 2007 and 2015.
South Africa lost their two consecutive World Cup matches. In their opening encounter, Proteas were handed a 104-run defeat at the hands of hosts England. And in their second match, Bangladesh stunned South Africa by 21 runs. The Faf du Plessis-led side would be aiming to win their third match to stay alive in the 50-over tournament.
The veteran wicket-keeper batsman Dhoni led India to its second World Cup title in 2011. The former captain has been a guiding force of the team and helped Kohli during the crucial overs. In a World Cup warm-up match against Bangladesh, Dhoni smashed a 78-ball 113, which saw four boundaries and seven sixes. This knock silenced the critics who had been criticising Dhoni's performance lately. The 37-year-old in the middle-order has the potential to not only save India but also put a competitive total.
Bumrah is set to feature in his first-ever World Cup. Back by a number of legends, the 25-year-old speed prodigy is considered to be a key for India's success. Bumrah's unconventional high-arm action and ability to bowl with variations make him a rare bowler among the cricketing fraternity. Ranked at number one, the Indian paceman returned with figures of 4-2-2-1 against New Zealand in a World Cup match. Bumrah picked up two wickets in the second practice game against Bangladesh.
The right-arm fast bowler possesses the skills of bowling both in-swingers and out-swingers. The 24-year old is also known for his toe-breaking yorkers in the death overs. Rabada finished at the second position in the highest wicket-takers' list in the recent Indian Premier League (IPL). In South Africa's first World Cup match against England, Rabada returned with the figures of 2/66, which included a crucial wicket of Joe Root.
Quinton De Kock
South Africa's wicket-keeper batsman de Kock strengthens the top-order and provides speedy start to the innings. The left-hander has the ability to adapt according to the situation. In South Africa's first World Cup match, de Kock scored a well-compiled 74-ball 68 runs, including six boundaries and two sixes in an attempt to single-handedly save the sinking Proteas. (ANI)