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Saturday , 16 December 2017

India and South Africa in knockout battle for semifinal berth

Indian started ICC Champions Trophy 2017 journey with massive win against arch-rival Pakistan but shocking defeat against Sri Lanka puts them in Do or Die situation. Situation is no different for South Africa, they would also play their heart out to win this and remove “chokers” tag before their name. It is must win for both side though India despite loss against Sri Lanka will have slight edge over Proteans.

India comes into this fixture after 7 wickets loss against Sri Lanka. It wasn’t really bad bowling from men in blue rather good application from Islander batsman which dominated at the end of the day. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma started the inning slowly but 138 runs partnership between two layed solid platform for coming batsman. Run-Machine, Virat Kohli got a golden duck and Yuvraj Singh soon followed him adding just seven runs to scoreboard.

MSD carried the inning on his experienced shoulder to complete his half-century to take India in comfortable position. Quick-fire inning from Kedar Jadhav boosted the score past 300 runs which certainly looked good score to defend. Once again onus will be on Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to give a solid start.

India likely to field same playing eleven or if hey opt for change then only change they could make is draft in their stylish off-spinner Ravi Ashwin. However, this raises question who will be left out?. Nor Jadeja neither Hardik Pandya sits out looking at their performance in last two game then obvious option they are left with is Kedar Jadhav.

South Africa lost to Pakistan in rain curtailed encounter by 19 runs. Opting to bat first, they lacked big partnerships and kept losing wickets at regular interval though David Miller sensible unbeated half-century knock and contribution from Kagiso Rabada and all-rounder Chris Morris took Proteas past 200 runs. Quiton de Kock and Hashim Amla started well but both failed to convert it into big inning.

AB de Villiers has been out of form recently and needs to step up to lead from the front. Surely, a big inning is due from him so don’t be surprised if he delivers in this crucial game.

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