India v South Africa, Champions Trophy, Cardiff June 5, 2013

Big names missing in big game

140

Match facts

Thursday, June 6, Cardiff
Start time 9.30am GMT

Big Picture

The last time India played South Africa in an ODI was in the 2011 World Cup, when India's top five were Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh. The bowling line-up consisted of Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel and Harbhajan Singh. None of those players, most of whom are vastly experienced, are in the squad for this tournament.

South Africa are also missing some of their legendary names, with Graeme Smith injured and Jacques Kallis skipping the tournament for personal reasons. Their fans might have felt reassured looking at the familiar bowling line-up, but Dale Steyn's side strain means he could miss the first game.

At least they can still rely on the calm guidance of Gary Kirsten, who has had a golden run in his two years as coach. He has already firmly established South Africa as the best Test side in the world, a position they flirted with for a couple of decades without really nailing it down. The next challenge for Kirsten, who will step down as South Africa coach later this month, is to end his country's painfully long hunt for an ICC trophy to go along with their triumph in the inaugural version of this tournament way back in 1998.

While South Africa have at least been able to focus entirely on the cricket, India haven't. For the past few weeks in India, cricket has dominated newspaper front pages and has been breathlessly reported on round-the-clock by television channels, but almost all of it has been about the corruption in the IPL, and the ensuing turmoil in the BCCI. Even as MS Dhoni was addressing the press in Cardiff ahead of the opening match of the Champions Trophy, the cricket news back in India was about the Delhi Police questioning the owners of Rajasthan Royals in connection with the spot-fixing controversy.

Dhoni's already has a stellar CV as captain, but marshalling this new-look team under these distractions, especially in a short tournament like the Champions Trophy where even one defeat could mean elimination, will be among the biggest challenges of his career.

Form Guide

(most recent first)

India LWWWL
South Africa WWLWL

Watch out for...

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Irfan Pathan and Vinay Kumar are all military medium and liable to be slapped around the park towards the end of the innings while Ishant Sharma's performances are yet to justify the enormous patience shown by the selectors. Which means India's quickest bowler Umesh Yadav has plenty to do. As if being the spearhead, despite having played only 17 ODIs, wasn't enough, Yadav will have it even harder as he hasn't bowled more than five overs in a match since last November when he suffered a serious back injury.

Just a week before Yadav picked up his injury, JP Duminy received news that he would be out of cricket for six months due to a ruptured tendon in his left heel. Duminy's first competitive match since then came last week against Netherlands, where he laid to rest any fitness concerns by pummelling an unbeaten 150. In the absence of Kallis and Smith, Duminy's experience will be useful in a batting line-up filled with relative newcomers.

Team news

Dinesh Karthik seems to have forced his way into the XI after a couple of sparkling centuries in the warm-up matches, which leaves India with two places to decide. One of the openers' slots is likely to be a toss-up between Rohit Sharma, who had mixed success at the top of the order in the series against England earlier this year, and M Vijay, who has had a poor IPL and is yet to convince in ODIs. The allrounders' spot is a contest between Ravindra Jadeja and Irfan Pathan, and who gets the nod could depend on whether India are adventurous enough to opt for a four-man pace attack.

India: (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Dinesh Karthik, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja/ Irfan Pathan, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav

"Steyn does not look good at all. It's touch and go," AB de Villiers said the day before the opening game. In case Steyn is deemed unfit, it is likely that Rory Kleniveldt will take his place. The rest of the line-up looks fairly settled, with David Miller likely to miss out in the middle order.

South Africa: (probable) 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Colin Ingram, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 Faf du Plessis, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 Rory Kleinveldt, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Pitch and conditions

Both top orders struggled in the India-Australia warm-up match on Tuesday in Cardiff, but Karthik and Dhoni showed there weren't too many devils in the track. Dhoni's verdict on the pitch was: "There was not much swing for them but there was variable pace on offer." Though Australia were rolled over for 65 by India, they had comfortably chased down 257 against West Indies on a similar surface on Saturday.

Stats

  • South Africa have the worst ODI record in England over the past six years, having won only two matches in 10
  • Of the players in the squads of the two teams, only AB de Villiers has aggregated 100 or more runs in the Champions Trophy
  • India have won both their encounters against South Africa in the Champions Trophy, the last of which was in 2002. Of those who played that 2002 fixture, only Robin Peterson is in the current tournament's squads.

Quotes

"A fresh venue a new start, we have to do all the right things again. Just because the stats are in our favour doesn't mean we will win the game."
MS Dhoni isn't getting too carried away by the fact that South Africa haven't beaten India in the Champions Trophy

"We'll put a bit of emphasis on the first 15 overs of the game. With the bat in hand, and try and fit the foundation and with the ball be very attacking."
AB de Villiers

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hunters77 on June 6, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    I am glad to see India not depending on Tendulkar and Sehwag and having the confidence to field a younger team. This team is the future of Indian cricket I believe, so glad India has found a paceman in Yadav hope he can keep S.A. on their toes. I am disturbed with India's choices regarding all rounders, why does India not include Stuart Binny in the lineup he has impressed me in the IPL why since developing a new squad not try somebody like him in limited overs cricket.

  • vsroc on June 7, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman on (June 6,2013) Expected PlayingXI: S.Dhawan,M.Vijay,V.Kohli,D.Karthik,S.Raina,M.S.Dhoni, R.Jadeja,B.Kumar,R.Ashwin,I.Sharma and U.Yadav.Let us all bless together MSD and his team members to perform well and come out with flying colours and bring back glory to our country in cricket.

  • latecut_04 on June 6, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    I am posting this even before a ball has been bowled.Just saw Akash Chopra's tweet "if you are playing a make shift opener in the opening game,your selection hasn'e been ideal".Most sensible sentence i have read in a long time.He is obviously refering to Rahane who seems to have beeen overlooked nogt only by selectors but even by fans right now...

  • A_Yorkshire_Lad on June 6, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Best Of luck today South Africa ! I hope - to paraphrase black_bird - that you just destroy [the] indians ! Cheers !

  • on June 6, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    I won't call Bhuvaneshwar Kumar exactly military medium. He may have not picked wickets but he maintained a tight line and length against Australia and did good job supporting Umesh Yadav. The problem for India is Ishant Sharma's inconsistency and Vinay Kumar needs a bit of polishing. Rohit Sharma is on the ledge and needs to perform even if brought as an opener.

  • deep6321 on June 6, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Dale Steyn is a great bowler ,probably the greatest in tests.But he has still to make his mark in shorter formats of the game.I am not saying he is bad in ODI ,but he has not been as successful in ODI as was expected. So my whole point is indian batsman can easily paly against him .They dont need to take any extra pressure regarding steyn.

  • black_bird on June 6, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    hope muraly vijay, rohit sharma will make an unbeaten 100s today. just destroy saffers.

  • Edassery on June 6, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    Pathan should open as he's way better than the current set of openers. Rohit can bat at No.5 or 6.

    Pathan, Dhawan, Kohli, Karthik, Sharma, Raina, Dhoni, Ashwin, Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Yadav would be my batting order. If Ashwin doesn't do well (or suddenly some spin tracks appear) in two games, Jaddu can replace him

  • on June 6, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    india Worlds strongest batting side

  • s_dog on June 6, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    even if steyn does not play SA will still win. they have a good bowling line up and a great batting line up (number 1 and 2) ODI batsmen in the world. my XI amla, petersen, ingram, de villiers, JP, FAF(can be used as finisher if needed), mclaren, peterson, rory/steyn, morkel, lobsy, than SA look unbeatable. with AB as captian and gary as coach than wont choke this time either. SA will win trophy for sure

  • Hunters77 on June 6, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    I am glad to see India not depending on Tendulkar and Sehwag and having the confidence to field a younger team. This team is the future of Indian cricket I believe, so glad India has found a paceman in Yadav hope he can keep S.A. on their toes. I am disturbed with India's choices regarding all rounders, why does India not include Stuart Binny in the lineup he has impressed me in the IPL why since developing a new squad not try somebody like him in limited overs cricket.

  • vsroc on June 7, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman on (June 6,2013) Expected PlayingXI: S.Dhawan,M.Vijay,V.Kohli,D.Karthik,S.Raina,M.S.Dhoni, R.Jadeja,B.Kumar,R.Ashwin,I.Sharma and U.Yadav.Let us all bless together MSD and his team members to perform well and come out with flying colours and bring back glory to our country in cricket.

  • latecut_04 on June 6, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    I am posting this even before a ball has been bowled.Just saw Akash Chopra's tweet "if you are playing a make shift opener in the opening game,your selection hasn'e been ideal".Most sensible sentence i have read in a long time.He is obviously refering to Rahane who seems to have beeen overlooked nogt only by selectors but even by fans right now...

  • A_Yorkshire_Lad on June 6, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Best Of luck today South Africa ! I hope - to paraphrase black_bird - that you just destroy [the] indians ! Cheers !

  • on June 6, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    I won't call Bhuvaneshwar Kumar exactly military medium. He may have not picked wickets but he maintained a tight line and length against Australia and did good job supporting Umesh Yadav. The problem for India is Ishant Sharma's inconsistency and Vinay Kumar needs a bit of polishing. Rohit Sharma is on the ledge and needs to perform even if brought as an opener.

  • deep6321 on June 6, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Dale Steyn is a great bowler ,probably the greatest in tests.But he has still to make his mark in shorter formats of the game.I am not saying he is bad in ODI ,but he has not been as successful in ODI as was expected. So my whole point is indian batsman can easily paly against him .They dont need to take any extra pressure regarding steyn.

  • black_bird on June 6, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    hope muraly vijay, rohit sharma will make an unbeaten 100s today. just destroy saffers.

  • Edassery on June 6, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    Pathan should open as he's way better than the current set of openers. Rohit can bat at No.5 or 6.

    Pathan, Dhawan, Kohli, Karthik, Sharma, Raina, Dhoni, Ashwin, Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Yadav would be my batting order. If Ashwin doesn't do well (or suddenly some spin tracks appear) in two games, Jaddu can replace him

  • on June 6, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    india Worlds strongest batting side

  • s_dog on June 6, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    even if steyn does not play SA will still win. they have a good bowling line up and a great batting line up (number 1 and 2) ODI batsmen in the world. my XI amla, petersen, ingram, de villiers, JP, FAF(can be used as finisher if needed), mclaren, peterson, rory/steyn, morkel, lobsy, than SA look unbeatable. with AB as captian and gary as coach than wont choke this time either. SA will win trophy for sure

  • on June 6, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Well.. I guess, India will lead the table..

  • SG_Styles on June 6, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    Score prediction - India 255-260, SA 221-225. Or SA 260-265, Ind wil chase it down wid 5-6 wckts left... :D

  • latecut_04 on June 6, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    @SherjilIslam--Thanks for your response on my post.Please note that I hadn't dismissed this tournament as totally incosequential.Ask Aus or Eng what would they prefer CT or the Urn and they will say The Ashes.My only point was that in ODIs WC is the pinnacle tournament and in comparison CT is not of much consequence.Also SA need Steyn in ALL tests they play if they are to retain their No:1 ranking and risking him to a prolonged injury break by playing him in group match of CT is just not worth..I was refering these 2 aspects.Hope you know this is the last edition of CT and the relevance of this tournament despite being a mini worldcup can be gauged from this very fact.

  • GermanPlayer on June 6, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Indian team has, over the course of last 25 ears, very strong batting line-ups. Having Kohli and Dhoni in the team does not mean they are strong. We all know that even when the BIG FOUR were in the team and India had a poor bowling, they mostly lost because the batting let them down, not the bowling. Secondly, the other team does not come to party, it comes to play the same cricket that India intends to play. So to say that India is strong or it' is going to be a walk in the park is rubbish.

  • GRVJPR on June 6, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    @GermanPlayer Not worried about steyn at all. India anyway looses wickets in first 10 overs where steyn will bowl most of his overs. India's batting strength starts after that and they will still put 280 plus. India will win. And if Indian bowlers have a good day, I don't think south africa has enough class in middle order to recover unlike India.

  • KiWiRoCkEr on June 6, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    All the best to the Indian team, from a Pakistan fan.

  • GRVJPR on June 6, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Just watch out everybody for Vijay Today. Don't judge players lack of form by warm up games. Anybody can loose his wickets with 2 new balls as we saw with all the teams in warm up games, including Hashim Amla and Australian openers. Vijay will answer his crictics with blistering ton today. Even if he fails, India will still score 300. That will what matter in this tournament. Most teams will loose early wickets with 2 new balls, but the one's that have players at 4,5,6 capable of turning matches on head will win the tournament and India is the only one such team. Rest will win only by luck and nothing else.

  • CSKTOP on June 6, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Playing XI for india against SA on June 06: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Dinesh Karthik, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Irfan Pathan, 11 Umesh Yadav

  • on June 6, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Poor guy Rohit Sharma. Was there in Indian Test teams three times. First in Sri Lanka but couldnt find place in 11 as Dravid / Sachin / VVS / Saurabh was there. Secondly was selected in final 11 against SA got injured unfortunately 10 mts before match. Third time when was at his pick didnt get opportunity againgst Aussies because VVS was there. I think here Rohit lost his track. Cse in Aussie he was on bench for almost 45 days without a single match. Its very difficult for anybody. Then he lost his touch and he is struggling three after. No Raina no Kohli has faced these situations. He has scored runs against SA in England, against Aussie in Aussie. So we cant say about his technique on overseas pitches. I think only one inning will answer all the critics. But he has to play this big inning now in Champions Trophy itself. Cse its now do or die for Rohit. He has to keep all negatives behind and to focus on his performance. He is already brillient fielder. Come on Rohit !!! All The Best

  • GeoffreysMother on June 6, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    I thing India have a good chance exactly because their 'big names' are missing. Past reputation and status has often counted for too much in Indian cricket. Most of these guys are playing to secure a future rather than living on the fat of the past and the fuss, politics and debauchery of the IPL and it's BCCI poodle will , and should, pass over their heads. Mind you a fit Steyn (but ont any of the other bowlers) could ruin all that in half an hour today.

  • GermanPlayer on June 6, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    SA played the Steyn card really well i think. He was the one player who everyone was worrying about. SA announce he is injured and people start saying SA are not favorites so that there is no pressure on their young squad. I am sure Steyn will turn up today for the match :D

  • CSKTOP on June 6, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Expected PlayingXI: S.Dhawan,R.Sharma,V.Kohli,D.Karthik,S.Raina,M.S.Dhoni, R.Jadeja,B.Kumar,R.Ashwin,I.Pathan and U.Yadav

  • vioo on June 6, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    @Albert_cambell no sense in ur writing bro...how can u compare us with Zimbab? I dont knw wer wil u hide ur face after d result? India wil beat SA today with huge margin for sure..mark my words..

  • SherjilIslam on June 6, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    @ latecut_04 on (June 6, 2013, 4:44 GMT: If this tournament is so inconsequential, why do you even pick your first choice team. Let your 'A' team comes and participates and gets a real exposure of international cricket. It's a kind of kid stuff from you.

  • Naresh28 on June 6, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    @albert_cambell - Oh so Zimbabwe has it to take out Oz for 65 and score 300+ Where is Zimbabwe in the ICC rankings or dont you follow cricket. Maybe you should in SA team

  • Faraz10 on June 6, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    Agree with Joe Thompson :)

  • on June 6, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    If i were dhoni,i would not experiment too much in the first match.The people left out would be Vijay,Pathan,Misra,Vinay. Others will have to perform to stay in the team.All the best India.

  • SadhaP on June 6, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    My options for Playing XI for India is

    Dhawan, Rohit, Virat, Karthik, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Irfan, Bhuvi, I Sharma, U Yadav.

    If any of the bowler having a tough day Rohit and Raina to share the bowling quota. Aswhin and Vijay had poor shown in the IPL and it takes some time for them to be back to form (Play in India)

  • PPL11 on June 6, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    Indian side looks good at moment except, VJ and Rohit, i think india missed trick by not picking either of Rahane, Pujara

  • ThIrU88 on June 6, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    Cant wait to see how Dinesh Karthik will do in this today's match. Of course he will rock. The best choice for the opening slot with Dhawan will be Vijay only. Hoping for this tohappen. All the best India...

  • SherjilIslam on June 6, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    I would definitely like to see Irfan in place of either Vijay or Nohit Sharma.Irfan can easily score the 10s and 20s which either of these would score and moreover can easily bowl atleast five overs in his first spell.Rest of the team is fine to me.

  • on June 6, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    indian gud bating shedule....d.karthik awsome bating

  • Naresh28 on June 6, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    INDIA should prepare for STEYN. I bet he will spring a surprise and catch India off guard. He will play. Just wait and see.

  • latecut_04 on June 6, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Don't know who will win today's match or this edition of CT.But making a bold [prediction "winner of today's match between In and SA will ift the trophy on JUn23"...SA are favourites and a couple of other sides are also there (likeNZ,Pak)who are dangerous so if Ind can get the better off SA today they may just get that winning momentum.Also if SA plays to potential and does not crumble under pressure they should be worthy winners...Latecut_04 made this prediction before the tournament has kicked off....Please remember...

  • Ralphi on June 6, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    Shewag far more better than all these openers.

  • vsroc on June 6, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman on (June 6,2013) Expected PlayingXI: S.Dhawan,M.Vijay,V.Kohli,D.Karthik,S.Raina,M.S.Dhoni, R.Jadeja,B.Kumar,R.Ashwin,I.Sharma and U.Yadav.Let us all bless together MSD and his team members to perform well and come out with flying colours and bring back glory to our country in cricket.

  • on June 6, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Hey Pakistani fan here. But I really like Indian batting line up. Always been a huge fan or Laxman and Dravid. One question why do India keep playing Rohit sharma? I never seen him play a good inning against good team unless India is already winning. Maybe he did and I missed it. However he is not consistent, i believe there are far better player who can come in Instead of him.

  • adis26 on June 6, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    I enjoy the fact that all India's critics and haters find our bowling line-up lousy and useless. It keeps our hopes low with our bowling attack. And when our attack still delivers like it often has based on the overall performance in the past few years - it feels awesome. Go India, at least a billion fans are rooting for you...whether you win or not does not matter as long as you give it your best shot !

  • 6Stumps on June 6, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    It's funny how some SL fans are more interested in the games India are involved in rather than those that feature SL. Even funnier is their assessment that India are a mediocre team. After the humiliating thrashings that India have been handing them for donkey's years, it is only natural that they downplay India's achievements, which by far outnumber theirs. Anyway, today's game is 50-50. The absence of Steyn puts SA at a slight disadvantage. But that being said, India's top order, especially the openers have looked circumspect. I reckon Dhawan will open. His partner will be a toss-up between Rohit and Vijay. I am against the idea of Karthik opening because he seems to have nicely slipped into the middle order at #4. A lot will depend on Bhuvi and Umesh and I hope they step up to occasion.

  • on June 6, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    I think Quinton de Kock will be the next Dhoni or Gilchrist. All he needs is for the selectors to have some faith in him and give him an extended run. The so-called experts are writing of SA as the so-called chokers and I think SA is enjoying that. Don't write us off or Australia for that matter because of a poor warm-up game.

  • sashan24 on June 6, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Guys need some help to pick my fantasy team. Whom do you'll think will perform well today Karthik or Raina????

  • QingdaoXI on June 6, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    Dhawan, Ashwin, Kohli, Kartik, Rohit, Dhoni, jadeja, Irfan,Bhuvi, Ishant, Umesh. Indian have 4 allrounders in Ashiwn, Jadeja, Irfan and Bhuvi they can compensate for that extra batsmen and scored that much runs. But if in bowling some one get hits we will have another option.

  • on June 6, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    i would def go with irfan, and instead of ashwin pick jajeja, then you have a bat and a bowl, or drop jaeja and go with ashwin, but pathan is a must on these england pitches.

  • N.J.H. on June 6, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    I think India have a tough job ahead. Though SA chokes on ICC tournaments, they do it in the later stages i.e. in knock out stages. They play brilliant cricket in group stages. If India can SA, they will have great chance to move to the next round.

  • manjesh_singh on June 6, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    All the very best to indian team, just enjoy the cricket :) play cool :)

  • deep6321 on June 6, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    Cant wait to see the match started.. playing eleven should be:- dhawan,rohit,kohli,karthik,msd,raina,jadeja,ashwin,,bhuv,umesh,ishant.

    & amla,petersen,ingram Abd,faf,jpd,maclaren,petersen,rory,morkel,tsotsobe

  • nirmalzz on June 6, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    @harmony111 : u had forgot to read the stats which is given in the article..

  • nirmalzz on June 6, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    Where is Dinesh Kartik.. ? His contribution will be far more effective than Dhoni and Raina...

  • on June 6, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    better than rohit sharma and vijay fighting for the opening spot, I would rather play Irfan Pathan in the opening slot, he has higher probability of scoring in double digits than both of them

  • on June 6, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Halla we will have to use the maximum effort

  • latecut_04 on June 6, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    @koushik2412--why should we play 2 spinners on England.ALso as a specilaist bowler Ishant is way better than Irfan(although Ishant is the biggest disappointment among world's bowlers in recent years)speaks about Indian bowling reserves...we should bowl first and try to limit opposition to as less as possible and hope our batting depth bails us out.All round balance wise Sashould win this game but ODIs are given day's performances.....so lest hope for the best

  • Rajesh_Royal on June 6, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    All the best to Indian team, play well keep up good work. Our ultimate aim is to win the champions tropy. Dhoni plan accordingly

  • nani8191 on June 6, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    The south africans probable 11 should have david miller who s the star of the ipl 2013 .he should be in place of alviro peterson. as far indians 11 is quite good.

  • ThilankaK on June 6, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    You name any batting order like Tendulkar , Sehwag , Azharudin , Sourav , Dhoni , Yuvraj , A.jadeja ( best 7 Indian ODI batsmen ) but it doesn't matter with thin pre school bowling attack ! you can't win mates ! no Zaheer , no Baji , no Anil , no Kapil , no Prasad !!! PAK will win the trophy !! PAKISTAN sindabad !!

  • huntmaster on June 6, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    today India will win the match easily because all the Indian players were in good form.

  • sameer_warun on June 6, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    SA will win this match easily ! If they bat first they will win by 100 margin , If they ball they will win by 8 wicket margin ! any bet ?????? MOM will Amla ! OH POOR INDIAN BOWLING ATTACK !!

  • latecut_04 on June 6, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Most probably Steyn won't play.There is no point in risking him in the opener of a relatively inconsequential ODI tournament especially keeping in mind No:1 test status also as priority.(WC is the pinnacle for ODis)So SA attack would be Morkel-Tsotsobe to start with followed by relatively unknown seamers.But they should do well in England given the conditions especially in ODIs.For SA's sake its better if they don't play any spinner.For India the key would be how many wickets they keep in tact after the initial 12 overs.Advantage SA 55-45.

  • Nuwas on June 6, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    PACY BOUNCY TRACKS.... thats what u get today.... SA would make history today...... good luck Proteas.........

  • koushik2412 on June 6, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    my playing XI: dhawan, vijay, kohli, karthik, raina, msd, irfan, ashwin, mishra, bhuwaneshwar kumar, umesh yadav. good news for indian batsmen! steyn gun is not playing today. MSD please launch your helicopters today.

  • Harmony1111 on June 6, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    South Africa have dominated India for a long time now. Even during the world cup in 2011 South Africa beat India in India very easily on their home flat track. When India don't have flat tracks around they become clueless. I can imagine South Africa will thrash India 75 + runs today or will thrash India by 5+ wickets if SA bat fast. Flat track kings have no chance today.

  • Sayantann on June 6, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    During the Warm-Up matches Cardiff offered a flat wicket which significant turn for spinners. I would closely watch if the nature of the wicket changes or not. I wuld still go with Vijay as Rohit is making much sense as opener. Vijay atleast is somewhat calm and composed to see off the new ball.First match, I'll go with Jadeja, however would be tempted to field Irfan in case conditions are overcast and Pitch appears Green. I also want Bhubi to bat a little up in the order may be seven, ahead of Ashwin & Jadeja/Irfan whoever plays.There's no doubt that India should field first if MSD wns the toss. Most importantly, with the new fielding restrictions imposed, MSD should look to bowl Ashin in death overs. Bhubi should bowl 7/8 over in the trot in the first fifteen. here's my combo with Batting order, Dhawan,Vijay,Virat,Karthik,Raina,MSD,Bhubi,Jadeja/Irfan,Ashwin,Ishant,Umesh If India Bats first, Dhawan/Vijay needs to ensure that they see through the two new balls. All the Best, India....

  • on June 6, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    If two spots are to be decide than for the first Rohit Sharma surely deserves a chance looking at the form he showed in IPL. I personally consider him as far more better and sound batsman than the stats looking in front of his name and also Murli Vijay. Now the second spot creating dilemma must be booked by (sir) R. Jadeja for the obvious reason of the better current form as well as ability of SA to play spin over slow medium pace of Irfan.

  • deep6321 on June 6, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Most of the people are saying SA have a better bowling unit "Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe" (if steyn does not play today) .On the other hand India have "Umesh ,Bhuvi ,Irfan ,Ishant ,Ashwin ,jadeja" Idont think Indian bowling is weaker than SA's. Only Morkel and Tsotsobe are good ,rest are just below average, while all indian bowlers are much more experienced and good for English conditions.Indian batting line up is good enough to blow away the SA attack.If India bats first i am expecting a 300+ score.....

  • crajmohan on June 6, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    the opening pair is dhawan and rohit sharma its good for india. jaddu should be their in playing squad why because south african agianest spin not that much fit

  • deep6321 on June 6, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    @Albert_cambell If India should have been replaced with Zimbabwe ,then SA should have been replaced with Bangladesh.Please name a one single ICC event the chokers have won.Lets see today what the chokers are capable of.

  • on June 6, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    S.A should try different openers definately Faf should open rather then Petersen...it gives chance to david Miller who has been in terrific form..

  • TRAM on June 6, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    Between Vijay and RSharma who can score double digit? - is the question.

  • siri12345 on June 6, 2013, 2:38 GMT

    now the real tournament begins.so it is a cake walk to predict who will win tomorrow,s game lol.it has also been proven in the past in most of the cases that teams winning the warm up easily usually performs terribly in the main tournament.the only thing that i am waiting to see tomorrow is can india reach three figure marks.cricinfo plz publish.

  • kapilesh23 on June 6, 2013, 2:28 GMT

    I am an Indian fan but I think it would be really hard for India to win this even if Steyn does not play.

  • darsh127 on June 6, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    Wow, really looking forward to this tournament starting. This trophy will truly judge the best ODI side and it looks really tight. Anybody's game. Most consistent team will win. Every match is a biggie. Hopefully India pulls this one off however, I have a strong feeling for the west indies. Hopefully their batsmen don't come to the party against India.

  • landl47 on June 6, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    Both sides look a little suspect in batting. SA's bowling on paper looks a little better suited to the conditions, but India juat rolled over Aus for 65 so they will be coming in full of confidence. This is a big momentum game for each side; mistakes might be the key. The side that makes fewest wins.

    Best of luck to both sides in the kick-off to the tournament.

  • WonkyBail on June 6, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    SA win all the way, pre tournament count for nowt, Amla century and Morkel hat-trick ;)

  • on June 6, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    The Way IND Top Order Batted I on't think Steyn Less South Africa is that Much Happy for IND!! Vijay,Rohit etc are Ice on the Cake for Morkel & Others too.. Hoping a Cracker of a Game!!

  • on June 6, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    If Viijay gets to play the first game, he will hit a century

  • on June 6, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    i don't know why SA's bowling attack is praised so much....IMO their bowling is weak in shorter formats,dale steyn is effective only with the new ball and in death overs he is as vulnerable as other bowlers.in death overs against dhoni and kohli u can't bowl short pitch deliveries as they r good pullers and then u can't bowl full to them because they r good in hitting down the ground.and SA spinners r way too ordinary ..if IND openers can survive initial overs,then they can really blast this SA attack.....cricinfo pls publish......

  • on June 6, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    irfan pathan should get a nod ahead of a spinner

  • couchpundit on June 6, 2013, 1:23 GMT

    Vijay and Dhawan are good candidates for run out...both are lazy runners and dont know to dive to get a run.

    ROHIT the Perennial non-performer who keeps showing up in Indian Squad...probably because quota i guess. He is far worse than Ishant Sharma....Ishant sharma can be trusted to pitch the ball short 8/10 times....while you can not expect rohit to score good......both scenarios are not ideal for indian team.

  • wazza85 on June 6, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Indian might lose if they become over confident, although they are an excellent team coming in they have the ability to crumble under a good spell and good bounce and slow balls. India cannot face thses. my money would be on SL, SA, PAK and IND in the finals.

  • bootlicker on June 6, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    India will prove that their the best one day team with a heavy defeat to SA today.

  • on June 6, 2013, 1:05 GMT

    Put Rohit on bench. You got two fit regular openers, stick with them. Vijay may lack proper technique for these conditions but then how would he ever play outside India if we hold him for that reason. I would prefer Irfan to Jadeja at least on Cardiff track. The only thing that may go in favor of Jadeja is his fielding. It may just turn out to be a tight game. Look forward to it.

  • K.U.YOGESHWARAMURUGAN on June 6, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    The main thing whether dhoni drop ashwin r not.if iam a captain i drop ashwin and go with pathan.spin are jaddu,rohit,raina.rohit open in batting and drop vijay.i want ishant r mishra.

  • Yoker111 on June 6, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    With India playing both there practices games on pitches which they will actually be playing in the tournament in the qualifying stage, semis and finals my money is on India to win the cup..no other team was given the opputunity as such..Go India!!!

  • on June 5, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    @Joe Thompson - it is very popular in India - all we care about.

  • PakWinners on June 5, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    Yes India has the favorites of winning, but don't ever forget that South Africa got some players that can do a lot of damage sometimes like Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, the legend Jean-Paul Duminy, and also Faf du Plessis, when these players are angry, trust me these all can do a lot of damage, and also Ryan Mcylaren can bat good and also ball very good. David Miller is not there but if he was then South Africa would have an more stronger batting line-up. But we also see the match of Netherlands vs SOuth Africa where Duminy played an unbeaten 150. he can do that again. India are a wicket-taking country but don't also under estimate South Africa of there fast bowlers who can do the same damage as India can. So both teams are good and have a good line-up!!!!!!

  • Vipkan on June 5, 2013, 22:44 GMT

    Mr. Joe Thompson : billion people = popular sport :)

  • Kapil_Choudhary on June 5, 2013, 22:39 GMT

    While most people are overlooking him, I am predicting Bhuvneshwar Kumar to be India's trump card. Most of the South Africans have never played him and the English conditions will suit him perfectly..especially if India field first. My prediction for MOM...

  • jb633 on June 5, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    I have a feeling India are going to win this tournament. If the weather shines I expect them to do very well. The pitches are incredibly flat in this country which takes out of the picture some of the technical deficiencies against the moving ball. SA, AUS and ENG all have weak ODI teams and I don't expect them to do much in this CT. WI and Pakistan are also the sides to watch out for and if Gayle gets going there is no bowlers that will able to stop him.

  • CezK on June 5, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Amit Mishra in for Ashwin & Raina to make way for Jadeja/Irfan both..

    My playing 11 (In order) : 1) Dhawan 2) Murli/Rohit 3) Kohli 4) Kartik 5) Dhoni 6) Jadeja 7) Irfan 8) Mishra 9) Bhuvanesh 10) Ishant 11) Umesh.

    5 Proper Batsman + 2 All arounders + 4 Proper bowlers... Balanced side!! (inclusion of Raina spoils the balance big time)

  • AvidCricFan on June 5, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    This Indian team selection makes sense. I would have liked Pujara in the team though. The big names would not be missed even by most long time followers of the game. Time comes for all players to hand boots. Fans understand that players need to performance or perish.

  • NP_NY on June 5, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    @Joe Thompson: I don't know Joe. Billion people obsessed with a sport can put a lot of pressure on the players and handling that kind of pressure is not easy. I also don't know about "average" because India is the current world cup champions and numero uno in the rankings. But please feel free to stay delusional :)

  • on June 5, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    This is a top opening game winner will go to the semis with west indies Goods bets either wy

  • DeckChairand6pack on June 5, 2013, 20:46 GMT

    Good call xylo, that was great win for the Proteas on the day. Some outstanding batting from the Green Machine to win the game at the death. Hopefully we can go all the way this time.

  • givenUP on June 5, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    I don't understand why everyone including the writer wants to play a sitting duck (Raina)

  • somethingdifferent on June 5, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    SA seems to be the superior side between the two at least on paper. With this inexperience side Indian batting will reply heavily on Kohli, Karthik and Dhoni and the bowling would heavily depend on Yadav and Ashwin, as so far in the practice matches B. Kumar have failed to create the magic he was expected off. There is a lot of talk on how good S African bowling is, even without Styen but non of the other bowlers has hardly ever shown the ability to actually rip through a batting line up in recent times. However SA's batting is definitely their strongest asset, and may prove to be decisive despite the lack of real penetration of their bowlers.

  • Apocalypse_EX on June 5, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    Finally! Some real cicket! Can't wait!

  • on June 5, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    Miller should get chance.

  • Yoker111 on June 5, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    I think India will win this cup. They should win it because they are the only team to have their practice games played on the same wicket in whcih they will play again for the qualifier, semis and finals. No other team had this oppurtunity therefore India knows what to expect from the wicket and will play all matches just like the warm up games.. Jai hoo.. Indian victory!!!

  • on June 5, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    My Indian XI would be 1. Dhawan 2. Ashwin/Rohit (I wish Gauti was there in the squad) 3. Kholi 4. Karthik 5. Dhoni 6. Raina 7. Jadeja 8. Pathan/Ashwin 9. B.Kumar 10. Ishant 11. Yadav

  • jayIyer on June 5, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    Just FYI, Your Form Guide is wrong. India won their last two games. SA lost their last game and won the one before that.

  • on June 5, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    Amla will be the key. Get Amla out ASAP.

  • on June 5, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    Irfan Pathan should be on playing

  • Unmesh_cric on June 5, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Rohit Sharma should open the batting. He scored a brilliant 80-something against England recently while opening the batting. When batting in the middle order in ODIs, he is always confused whether to consolidate or attack. Opening the batting gives him a chance to play his shots with new hard ball. Vijay has already been tried as opener in ODIs and he has never looked comfortable in ODIs.

  • ToTellUTheTruth on June 5, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Why not open with Irfan? Irfan, Shikar, Kohli, Rohit (give him one more chance), DK, Jadeja, Dhoni, Ashwin, Ishant, Umesh, Bhuvi - Best possible combination.

  • mzm149 on June 5, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    Go Proteas!! Best of luck for the match and the tournament. Make this mediocre team bite the dust. I have a feeling Amla and de Villiers will rip apart Indian bowling. South Africa and Pakistan will definitely reach semifinals. India can only win against West Indies if luck favours them.

  • on June 5, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    @ABanandAvionics : r u kidding mate ,its been six years and 88 matches , rohit is yet to perform[not even talking about consistency here] . He was in the squad of 2007 T20 worldcup and at the time kohli was not even in the frame , now even after 6 years and many chances u say rohit should not be dropped based on the performance of 2 PC matches. I dont know why the selectors persis with this guy,he is simply wasting a precious place in the squad . May God help US , if we say ROHIT is the future.

  • themaster668 on June 5, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    why Alviro Petersen at the top??? why not FAF to open the bat and include daivd miller in the lower order?? get the best available and in form players in the playing XI . what goodness they'll save Miller for ??

  • on June 5, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    dhawan.pathan.kohli.karthik.raina.dhoni.jadeja.ashwin.kumar.i.sharma.yadav. pathan as opener can bat freely in powr play and can play as extre seamer if any seamer gets hit den pathan can bowl an swing

  • on June 5, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    @Albert_campbell India are the current world cup champions and you would would very well know how many time SA have won the world cup. Whatever happens in the tournament, one thing is for sure, SA will choke at some stage in the tournament as they they have done in the past in each and every major tournment, so I were a SA fan I would rather worry about that than worry about the opposition.

  • Resultpredictor on June 5, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    SA get ready for thrashing as India Is Going to Beat SA by big margin tomorrow. Result of the match can be predicted easily. India is the CHAMPION and India will win the CT.

  • Haleos on June 5, 2013, 17:57 GMT

    The toss up between jadeja n irfan should not exist. Both should play. Jadeja is aa good as ashwin in limited overs if not better. Add the fielding n batting. It is a no brainer. But irfan plays for kings xi. So v know who will miss.

  • on June 5, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    It would be a competition between "Indian spinners Vs S.A batting line-up" If S.A manage to play some decent strokes against Indian "spinners" then they have a clear chance to thrashed Indian "Pace" attack...Whereas for Ind, Batting wont last much longer as S.A team is not a weak side as Australians, So indian bowlers should be more focused to bowl in the right areas and try to take wickets rather then bowling wicket to wicket to restrain runs..Believe me, if they tried to restrain S.A runs rather than taking wickets then S.A will played a slow and steady innings and then whole indian bowling will be thrashed during death overs..best of luck for both teams...may the best team wins..A cricket fan from PAK..

  • on June 5, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    Both Irfan and Jadeja should play. Irfan won't bat any worse than either Rohit or Vijay in these conditions.

  • xylo on June 5, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    Let's not forget that the last time the big names played for India against SA in WC 2011, they lost the match.

  • on June 5, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    should win toss & field first for INDIA..bowling start with Rohit will surprise them as well,,

  • LeftBrain on June 5, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    South Africa will start as favourites, they g=have a far superior bowling unti, even without Steyn and Kallis. Ithink it will all go down to how Kohli and Dhoni bat. if they stay at the crease, there will be a contest.

  • on June 5, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    This is Incorrect Statement...None of those players, most of whom are vastly experienced, are in the squad for this tournament.

    Infact None of them are not in the Tournament....Please correct the same...

    The last time India played South Africa in an ODI was in the 2011 World Cup, when India's top five were Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh. The bowling line-up consisted of Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel and Harbhajan Singh. None of those players, most of whom are vastly experienced, are in the squad for this tournament.

  • Narbavi on June 5, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    Vijay and Dhawan are the proper openers and they should play, need to make sure they don't lose their wickets atleast for the first 8 overs or so, india has a much better chance of winning this game if they chase, hope for a cracker to kickstart the champions trophy!!

  • jaggi.jagan on June 5, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    To put Yusuf Pathan as a "big name" is a joke. Rohit opening with Dhawan appears way too shaky. If he gets picked, let us hope he clicks, if he does and gets some confidence through that, he has a chance to build a reputation through chances that will likely come his way. Unfortunately, Vijay doesn't give a lot of confidence either. He clearly lacks the art or ability to take singles and rotate strikes. He relies too much on scoring boundaries which isn't easy in one day games.

  • S.Kamran.Ali on June 5, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    It will be a good contest........

  • Anubhav-the-Experience on June 5, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    AB's first 15 remark is very important...It will either make them or break them...In my view they should proceed carefully. This tournament has no no super favorites and this makes the tournament more unpredictable and more enjoyable as well.

  • aby__prasad on June 5, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Only when we start winning during the tournament can we really assess if this team is capable of adjusting to the new pitches. I mean i have a gut feeling the pitches we got were ..,hmm....but with 65 all out from the other side i get confused as well. If 2 batsmen find form during the tournament, thats good enough to win most matches...if they are green turfs i mean. Have to wait and watch!...cant wait till tomorrow!

  • on June 5, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    karthik, dhawan, kohli, raina, dhoni, jadeja, b.kumar, r.ashwin, u.yadav, irfan pathan, ishant sharma. This has to be the playing 11 for India.

  • NilNakshtra on June 5, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    I think both I Pathan and Jadeja should play. Raina and Jadeja are same kind of batsman in a seaming condition, so Jadeja should be picked instead of Raina as the former one can add variety to bowling attack. If Rohit plays instead of Vijay then there will be a probability of good opening partnership............

  • ABanandAvionics on June 5, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    I will Still Open with Dinesh Karthik and let rohit sharma bat at no. 4 he has played a bad shot in 1st practcie game and in second he was unfortunate he got an inside edge onto his stumps while leaving the ball , and anyways practcie matches are practcie matches , top players always shines at main matches so be ready for a rohit encore just hoping that dhoni dint drop rohit by seeing his 2 PC matches performances

  • Sajitha_Thoma on June 5, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    The http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/66192.html [ 2002 match] - wasn't it the one which India won from the verge of defeat after Gibbs retired hurt and Yuvi took a stunner of a catch to turn things into India's favour ? #nostalgia

  • on June 5, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Opening pair and Form of top order are area of concerns for Ind. Bowling looks okay to me. Bhuvi, Yadav, Ash, Ish. Last warm-up match, Dhoni said he would like to see DK bat in top order. So we might see him open with Dhawan. And for God's sake, get rid of Vijay. He is not ODI material. And Rohit will bat at No. 4 as we don't have enough batsmen in the squad. Would be interesting too see who makes it to playing XI as an all-rounder - Sir Jadeja or Pathan ? One who is in good bowling, batting form and an excellent fielder or the other who suits more to the English conditions. It should be a good contest 2mrw.

    Bring it ON.

  • Jda123 on June 5, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    If no Steyn, I see India winning this via 30-40 runs.

  • on June 5, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    I feel this is best possible 11 against SA in the same order:

    Dhawan R Sharma kohli Raina Dinesh Karthik(WK) MS Dhoni(C) R Jadeja Ashwin Bhuvneswar Kumar Ishant Sharma Umesh Yadav

    Kohli should be allowed to bowl for 3-4 overs atleast. I feel his bowling action suits the English conditions. Given SA's weekness to spin, Jadeja and Ashwin shd be in team. I somehow getting a feeling that SA might struggle against Jadeja and Ashwin might not show much impact but still.. can't rely on predictions. Ashwin/Umesh/Ishant shd share death overs. Bhuvneswar shd complete his quota when new ball is taken. Good to have irfan in remaining matches in place of Jadeja if other venues have seaming conditions. If required Bhuvneswar kumar shd be introduced as tailender.. He has decent batting average in domestic matches.

  • Ramseer on June 5, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    I have been watching cricket seriously since 1992 WC. Since then this is the first time SRT is not a part of a major tournament and I will miss him. Also this is the first time Aussie is not a hot favourite to win the cup.

  • A.Ak on June 5, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Another chance for RSharma after an IPL, six time in row?. He is talented or what ever, but this is too much opportunity for one person who is failing at the top level. Lets hope he performs this time.

  • gauravm5 on June 5, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    Used to be a DIE HARD INDIA fan but after seeing Srinivasan retaining his BCCI chief position, that feeling has lost somewhere.

  • Stark62 on June 5, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    Dale Steyn should play the first match against Ind, then take a rest in the next game or both of the upcoming games.

  • DPENRAW on June 5, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    big names will play big games soon

  • on June 5, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    India looses badly tomorrow.No yuvi who can be a good all-rounder.Indian Top order looks odd no consistency,Middle order is mediocre.Bowlers too have inconsistency.God must help Indians from southafrican hurricane

  • ADI_GUNGALIYA_FANTASY on June 5, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    irfan should play. He would be trump for india. It would be interesting Irfan opening the innings as no other option(Surely no murali).

  • Albert_cambell on June 5, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    Steyn and AB missing out is not a big issue for us. We dont need to play steyn and AB to beat this mediocre indian team. All they have in their team is a bunch of club cricketers. They should have replaced India with Zimbabwe for this tournament.

  • Narbavi on June 5, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    The best scenario for india would be to bowl first and chase, make use of the early morning conditions and chase when the pitch has eased out a bit, but if at all we bat first then the openers have to hold on to their wickets atleast for the first 8-10 overs, Virat, DK and Dhoni are in terrific form and Raina can strike a few in the end too, good luck, hope for a cracking start to the champions trophy!!

  • Narbavi on June 5, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    I think your probable 11 is a bit flawed, Vijay would and should open, Rohit had his moments, someone else needs to take over, for now we don't have any other option other than Vijay, so let him get his due!! Can't fall back on Rohit Sharma all the time!!

  • on June 5, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    I haven't heard anyone talking about dropping Ashwin from the team and play both Irfan And Jadeja ?? Dhoni obviously has faith in Jadeja as a bowler. With England being a haven for the Seamers, Ashwin wouldn't be so useful anyway. I mean this can be an option too ??

  • Romenevans on June 5, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    Can't wait to see my favorite bowler Dale Steyn bowling that out swinger to My Favorite batsman Kohli. Good luck to both SA and India. Both are good teams.

  • Romenevans on June 5, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    Can't wait to see my favorite bowler Dale Steyn bowling that out swinger to My Favorite batsman Kohli. Good luck to both SA and India. Both are good teams.

  • on June 5, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    I haven't heard anyone talking about dropping Ashwin from the team and play both Irfan And Jadeja ?? Dhoni obviously has faith in Jadeja as a bowler. With England being a haven for the Seamers, Ashwin wouldn't be so useful anyway. I mean this can be an option too ??

  • Narbavi on June 5, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    I think your probable 11 is a bit flawed, Vijay would and should open, Rohit had his moments, someone else needs to take over, for now we don't have any other option other than Vijay, so let him get his due!! Can't fall back on Rohit Sharma all the time!!

  • Narbavi on June 5, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    The best scenario for india would be to bowl first and chase, make use of the early morning conditions and chase when the pitch has eased out a bit, but if at all we bat first then the openers have to hold on to their wickets atleast for the first 8-10 overs, Virat, DK and Dhoni are in terrific form and Raina can strike a few in the end too, good luck, hope for a cracking start to the champions trophy!!

  • Albert_cambell on June 5, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    Steyn and AB missing out is not a big issue for us. We dont need to play steyn and AB to beat this mediocre indian team. All they have in their team is a bunch of club cricketers. They should have replaced India with Zimbabwe for this tournament.

  • ADI_GUNGALIYA_FANTASY on June 5, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    irfan should play. He would be trump for india. It would be interesting Irfan opening the innings as no other option(Surely no murali).

  • on June 5, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    India looses badly tomorrow.No yuvi who can be a good all-rounder.Indian Top order looks odd no consistency,Middle order is mediocre.Bowlers too have inconsistency.God must help Indians from southafrican hurricane

  • DPENRAW on June 5, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    big names will play big games soon

  • Stark62 on June 5, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    Dale Steyn should play the first match against Ind, then take a rest in the next game or both of the upcoming games.

  • gauravm5 on June 5, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    Used to be a DIE HARD INDIA fan but after seeing Srinivasan retaining his BCCI chief position, that feeling has lost somewhere.