Afghanistan will play South Africa in match No. 42 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on Friday, November 10. The match will take place at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. South Africa, who are already through to the semi-finals of the tournament, suffered a massive loss at the hands of India in their previous match. They currently are second in the table with six wins in eight matches.
India posted a competitive total of 326/5 in 50 overs, banking on Virat Kohli’s record-equalling 49th century. Shreyas Iyer scored a half-century as well. However, the star-studded South African batting line-up was dismantled for only 83 runs, their lowest total in World Cup cricket. Ravindra Jadeja’s five-fer left the side in disarray, succumbing to their second defeat of the tournament.
The Proteas have been on a high-scoring streak this whole tournament, smashing 350+ totals for fun in most matches. However, there have been a few occasions when their batting line-up was tested – against Netherlands, Pakistan and India.
The final match of the group stage has no bearing on South Africa’s future, who are bound to finish second or third regardless of other results. This means that they will be heading to Eden Gardens again in a bid to book their berth for the final in Ahmedabad.
Afghanistan have had a memorable campaign, with four wins in eight matches and this has turned out to be their most successful outing in an ICC tournament. They nearly got the better of Australia in their last match, but a Glenn Maxwell double century hampered their golden opportunity. Considering the fact that they have already taken down a few big teams, South Africa will not take them for granted and would not want to enter the semi-finals with negative momentum.
Openers: Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma
Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma might continue to open the innings. Quinton de Kock is in contention to break an all-time record at the World Cup, of Sachin Tendulkar’s most runs in a single edition set in 2003. He currently has 550 runs in eight matches and has a minimum of two matches remaining.
Temba Bavuma is yet to register a big score in the tournament. The South African skipper has scored the least runs among their batters, with only 122 runs in six matches and is desperately in need of a big knock to find form.
Middle order: Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller
Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller are both capable of stabilising the innings in case of a collapse and can change gears instantly as well. Miller got a crucial half-century against the Netherlands in a losing cause but has batted well throughout, scoring 231 runs at a strike-rate of 127.62. Rassie van der Dussen has been one of their best batters in the tournament, with 366 runs in eight matches.
Heinrich Klaasen is the man in form currently and his power-hitting adds great strength to South Africa’s lower order. He scored 316 runs at a strike-rate of 144.29, which includes a century and a half-century.
All-rounders: Aiden Markram, Marco Jansen
Aiden Markram has scored 371 runs so far at the World Cup, including a sparkling century against Sri Lanka, at an average of 53.00. He is their second-leading run-scorer and also a good off-break bowler in the middle overs.
Marco Jansen has been terrific with the new ball and South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 17 wickets. The left-arm seamer also troubles batters with his bounce, making him a potent threat up front. His ball-striking ability makes him an instrumental No. 7 as well, having already scored 157 runs, including a half-century.
Bowlers: Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Gerald Coetzee
Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi and Gerald Coetzee form South Africa’s fast bowling quartet, which is as good as any in this tournament. Rabada has picked up 12 wickets while Ngidi has eight, but the surprise package has been Gerald Coetzee, who is their second-highest wicket-taker with 14 scalps.
Keshav Maharaj will have a crucial role to play throughout the tournament as the lead spinner of the team. The left-arm spinner has been impressive so far, with 12 wickets in eight matches.
South Africa Predicted Playing XI:Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Gerald Coetzee
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