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Defending champions India will square-off South Africa in a virtual quarter-final on Sunday. This is a must-win contest for both the teams as a loss will mean a trip back home from England. The pressure will be on defending champions India as they are favourites to win the tournament. Herein we look at the five things that India needs to do to win the encounter against Proteas.
Against Sri Lanka, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan brought up their 10th ODI 100 run partnership, this was also their fourth 100-run partnership in Champions Trophy. If they get going then India will surely have the upper hand.
Negotiate Imran Tahir and Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada became the highest ranked bowler in ODI cricket before the Champions Trophy and with the new ball, he can be deadly. On the other hand leg- spinner Imran Tahir has consistently troubled the batsman and taken wickets. Hence, negating these two will be crucial for the Indian batsman if they are to post a big total or chase down a big target.
Middle Order needs to click
The Indian middle order comprising of Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni is one of the most formidable units. Together they can destroy any bowling attack and hence if they click against the Proteas then India may well be on their way to the finals. While they did come good against Pakistan against Sri Lanka, apart from MS Dhoni the other two did not perform up to the mark.
Recall R Ashwin in the bowling line up
India direly missed the services of R Ashwin. Ashwin is a street smart bowler and has an exceptional record against left-handers. His inclusion in the side would have provided a lot of variety to the bowling attack which looked insipid.
Bowling attack needs to bring variety in line and length
The Indian bowling attack which bowled against Sri Lanka seemed insipid and devoid of ideas. Despite having a total of 321 in the bank, the bowlers failed to defend it. It was a very lacklustre bowling that lacked incisiveness. Hence, this is an aspect that the Indian think tank must address.