India vs South Africa: Commentator’s gaffe, Kohli handling expectations, Dale Steyn out

This India vs South Africa match has expectations riding on the shoulders of Virat Kohli while an already desperate Faf du Plessis is deprived of Dale Steyn

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New Delhi: In the India vs South Africa ICC World Cup cricket match, after both the captains reached the Rose Bowl for the toss, a wave of joy was witnessed in Team India’s supporters for a moment only to be followed by disappointment.

Virat Kohli called head but the toss yielded the tail. However, field commentator Mark Nicholas said that India had won the toss. Kohli corrected Nicholas, saying, “I have not won the toss.” After this, Nicholas corrected his mistake and then the official announcement of the toss winner was made.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis decided to bat first after winning the toss against India in their third match of the World Cup 2019 at the Rose Bowl ground here.

India captain Virat Kohli has kept Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar and Mohammad Shami out for this match. South Africa have given a chance to Hashim Amla and Tabrez Shamsi in the place of Edin Markram and Lungi Nadidi.

India vs South Africa: Where to watch

The match is being broadcast live on Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 2 with English language commentary and on Star Sports Hindi HD with Hindi commentary.

You can live-stream the IND-vs-SA cricket match on Hotstar app or on the Hotstar website.

Virat Kohli & great expectations

India skipper Virat Kohli says he has learnt to deal with aspirations of a cricket-mad country but making right decisions consistently on a cricket field is a gradual process.

Ready to lead India as captain in an ODI World Cup for the first time, a billion people want their skipper to score a hundred every time he walks out to bat.

Kohli has had the distinction of scoring centuries in India’s opening games in the 2011 (vs Bangladesh) and 2015 (vs Pakistan) editions. Ask him if he could complete a coveted hat-trick against South Africa in India’s World cup opener on Wednesday, Kohli said dealing with such expectations is now part and parcel of his life.

“Look, when you perform and you perform for a long time, expectations are always there and I sort of understood how to go along with the expectations. You don’t go out there to prove anything to anyone, which is a fact, but you have to accept that expectations are going to be there,” Kohli said ahead of India’s opening game.

Just like Sunil Gavaskar or Sachin Tendulkar, who devised their own mechanism to deal with insane demands, Kohli has also embraced it in his own little way.

“When I walk out to bat, come down the stairs, people will say we need a hundred and all those kind of things will happen. For me, that’s just a part of the process now.

“It’s not something that I don’t want to hear or something that I think people should not tell me because when you do well, people obviously want to see you do well again and again because they want to see the team win.”

He didn’t speak about the kind of legacy he would like to leave behind but believes that his progress in a leadership role has been a gradual one.

“The errors you would make when you are not that aware of game situations. They will slowly start to taper off as you play more and more cricket. So I think what happens also is when you have experienced people in your team who have also grown with you as cricketers, eventually you all start making good decisions.”

Owning up mistakes and taking corrective measures is something that he has learnt gradually.

“No one can make all good decisions or right decisions all the time, so important is to try and make the right decision, but own up to your mistakes and accept the errors as well, which I think with time everyone sort of understands that process well, which also is happening to me slowly,” he said.

There are usual butterflies before any big event but he doesn’t feel anything different on a day before India’s World Cup campaign gets rolling.

“Honestly, for me, I have this feeling before every game that I play honestly and I can’t differentiate. Yes, if you just say the word ‘World Cup’, it brings a different kind of feeling to your mind and heart.

“In 2011 or 2015, I had a similar kind of butterflies in my stomach. Even when you walk into play in a Test match and you walk in at 10-2 you have the same butterflies in the stomach, so that is a very consistent factor. When that starts going down, you know what comes next (indicating about retirement).

“I’m glad it is going on and I’m feeling excited, anticipation and a bit of nerve as well which is always good for any sportsman to have, so it’s pretty similar to the past.

The format of this edition of the World Cup is the toughest, he reckoned.

“Looking at the length of the tournament and the format of the tournament, yes, it will be tough for any captain, including myself, playing nine games. It’s a long tournament. You are playing every side once and you have to think on your feet and adapt very quickly.

“It’s not a bilateral (series). You are not playing a team twice, so you have to be precise. On that day make good decisions and stay ahead. So from that point of view yes, it will be a very, very challenging tournament.”

India vs South Africa: Dale Steyn ruled out

In a big blow to South Africa, pace spearhead Dale Steyn was on Tuesday ruled out of the World Cup after failing to recover from a shoulder injury, a development that could hasten his international retirement.

South Africa have named left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks as his replacement after approval from the Event Technical committee.

There is hardly any chance of a return in foreseeable future for the 35-year-old Steyn, who had sustained a second shoulder injury during IPL where he played a couple of games for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“The ICC has confirmed that the Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 has approved Beuran Hendricks as a replacement player for Dale Steyn in the South Africa squad for the remainder of the tournament,” a media release stated.

“Bowler Steyn has suffered a second shoulder injury which has not responded to treatment and has ruled him out of bowling for the foreseeable future. His replacement Hendricks is a left-arm fast bowler,” it further stated.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis was understandably disappointed.

“Dale has struggled really hard to get back into the team. It’s been a tough two-year, two-and-a-half year for him and he would need support right now. It’s important that us as the team and the management make sure there are things in place for him to assist him, to be there for him. He needs love at the moment,” Du Plessis said at the pre-match press conference.

“It’s a tough time for him. He’s tried really hard to get fit for this campaign. He was bowling unbelievably well in the lead-up to this tournament and the IPL he was at his best. Unfortunately, it happened there in the IPL in those two games that he played there,” the skipper said.

While he didn’t blame IPL but Du Plessis was thinking aloud what if Steyn wasn’t picked by the RCB as late replacement.

“Had he not been picked up for IPL, who knows where Dale would have been right now. We can’t control that. So it is important for me that we make sure that we are there for him because I know he’s been trying hard to make sure he is ready to try and make an impact on which will be his last World Cup.”

While the retirement looks imminent right now, team doctor Mohammed Moosajee said that there is still hope.

“I think he will be coming back. The challenge is to get him back home, to get him to see his rehab team, the focus will be very much on strengthening work around the shoulder, as we can well understand the shoulder is a complicated joint which moves into different plains.

“And once he gets the mobility in his shoulder close to where he was previously, I’m sure there’s every effort that he can come back,” the team doctor said.

The 2019 World Cup was supposed to be his last World Cup and this injury could well mean a sad end to the career of one of the greatest fast bowlers of the modern era.

India vs South Africa: Teams

India

Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Yuswendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jaspreet Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.

South Africa

Faf du Plessis (Captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), JP Duminy, David Miller, Rasi van der Dussain, Kagiso Rabada, Tabrez Shamsi, Imran Tahir, Andy Fehlukiewo, Chris Morris.