Group B is so delicately poised with India, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka all wedged on two points.
India hold the superior run rate and with a win over the Proteas will cement their place in the semis but likewise for South Africa, a victory will end Indian dreams.
That’s why this one is so hard to call; Virat Kohli’s outfit are ranked third in the ODI rankings while South Africa, led by AB De Villers, rank first despite losing their ODI series to England. The Proteas lost their last tournament match to an intermittent Pakistan side, but looked particularly fragile with the bat.
Their openers, Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock, struggled to fire as they usually do, and only David Miller was able to offer any resistance with 75* as South Africa post just 219 in 50 overs. In the modern batting climate, that was extraordinarily ordinary. Boasting four of the top ten ODI ranked batsmen in the world, South Africa will ponder their time in England so far as a disappointment.
If you had to pick a top scorer for the Proteas, it would always be a tossup between openers Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock, both, but particularly the former, possess the ability to go huge once they’re in and settled. Take the 11/4 about Amla top-scoring with the bat for South Africa with Betway, though we also like the look of Quinton De Kock to score Over 30.5 Runs at 5/6 with Betway.
Their problem is that India bring an array of bowling talent to The Oval. Though they haven’t quite clicked as of yet, the fear is that the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuv Kumar are due wickets. Equally, they can bring Ravichandran Ashwin in should they fancy it. Picking a top wicket taker for India is difficult, but we fancy the 3/1 for Bhuv Kumar on another flat-track at The Oval with Betway.
India have posted two scores over 300 so far in the tournament, so that is definitely worth a punt when the in-play markets become available at Betway. .
Like with South Africa, much of the Indian runs have come from their openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, both of whom offer good value for India’s top run scorers. However, as always, any bet against Virat Kohli is one worth reevaluating.
After scoring a duck against Sri Lanka, India’s MVP will be looking to avenge himself and score big this time around and usually, he steps up to the big occasion. Back Kohli to be India’s Top Batsman at 13/5 with Betway.
South Africa aren’t no.1 in the world for nothing. India are exceptional players of spin, but no.2 ODI bowler in the world Imran Tahir will unearth any possible weaknesses in India’s line-up. At the other end is no.1 ODI bowler in the world, Kagiso Rabada, who has enjoyed a particularly fruitful introduction to international cricket since his breakthrough.
Every time South Africa have the ball in hand, you have always got to back the pacey Rabada to achieve the most breakthroughs. We fancy him to be South Africa’s Top Bowler at 3/1 with Betway, as well as taking Over 1.5 Wickets at 5/6 with Betway.
So, this one is too difficult to call, especially as the winner will effectively take it all. South Africa have some irresistible individuals, but we fancy India to come through this one. I’ve said it before but I feel as if there is a lot more to come from this India side. It still feels like they’re in 2nd or 3rd gear.