Cardiff: June 5, 2013
The ICC Champions Trophy 2013 is all set to begin with the World Champions India to play against South Africa at Cardiff.
The short tournament is packed with matches involving strong teams. It will be difficult to select a champion.
India has stepped into the tournament brimming with confidence as they have already bagged two victories in the warm-ups.
Strong batting against both warm-up matches against India looks confident after they conceded a big score against Sri Lanka and a flawless performance against Australia.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has to make some crucial decisions on making selections. With Dinesh Karthik who scored two continuous centuries both attained in tough situations and the all-rounder Ravendra Jadeja set to play at number seven; the captain has an option to decide on six expert batsmen and the chances are that Rohit Sharma might not be considered.
The two opening batsmen chosen are Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay, but Rohit has given a good performance in the past and the others to compete the batting order with Jadeja to come at seven are Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik and Dhoni.
The top bowlers considered would be Ravichandran Ashwin as the expert spinner, Umesh Yadav who did exceptionally well against Australia and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
South Africa has not been able to perform well in the big tournament and have been labelled as the "chokers".
Graeme Smith is not playing and the chances are that Alviro Peterson would open the batting with Hashim Amla. Colin Ingram takes the third spot, followed by AB de Villers and Faf du Plessis.
The two left-arm spin bowlers Aaron Phangiso and Robin Peterson might be considered for the solo spot.
The pace-bowlers Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe would take the main lead.
Both the teams are commanding if the question is whether the Indian players with MS Dhoni succeed against South Africa or give in.
India (probable): Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.
South Africa (probable): Hashim Amla, Alviro Peterson, Colin Ingram, AB de Villers (c & wk), Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Ryan McClaren, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe
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