The start of the 2019 World Cup campaign for India against South Africa was perfect. The first match in any tournament is a crucial encounter because although one is mentally ready to a large extent, there is always a slight bit of doubt about ones and the team’s performance.India’s campaign commenced, as one would say, “exactly as the doctor ordered”. South Africa, who had lost their initial two matches had to win to stay alive in the tournament. For them it was a do or die situation and in sport one is always wary when opponents have their backs against the wall.
India managed to secure a victory and diffused any hope that the Proteas had. The numero uno One Day International bowler of the world, Jasprit Bumrah, provided just the thrust and acceleration that was needed to set a positive vibe among his teammates. He bowled exceptionally well in his first World Cup match and demonstrated why he is rated so highly. The two established South African openers, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock were stunned by his speed, movement and accuracy. His spell along with that of Bhuvneshwar Kumar was a reminder to the rest of the teams in the tournament as to how difficult they will be to face.
The initial spell by the pacers gave the the momentum, confidence and initiative that uplifted the morale of the team. These are the golden moments that any team requires to generate the acceleration needed to fulfil their dream and vision of winning the cup.South Africa, a side that was once considered to be a strong opponent, looked totally out of place. Their batting looked brittle and with just 227 runs on the board, although the bowlers did make some special efforts in curtailing the Indian batsmen, their untidy fielding and catching sadly let them down.The 2015 World Cup semi-finalists have traditionally been a good fielding side. The two South African fielding legends who have etched their name in gold in that department of the game, Colin Bland and Jonty Rhodes, must be squirming with embarrassment.
Rohit Sharma’s century and the mature and sensible way he carried his bat through was wonderful to see, especially as he is a player who gets easily frustrated if things are not going his way.Australia, will be one of India’s toughest opponents. Fortunately, for India, they are beaming with confidence and ready to go. A win against Australia, should put them strongly in place for a semi-final spot.As was expected, the World Cup has generated massive support. England lost to the unpredictable Pakistan side, even after two of their players scored a century. Bangladesh are playing well and will be dangerous for all the top teams in their quest to qualify.
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