India face South Africa in the first match of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy on Thursday. The two teams are pitted in Group B and the game will be held at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
Where to Watch Live
Play starts at 10:30am BST. Live coverage is on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD. Follow the match live, via text updates, on ESPN Cricinfo.
The World Champions start the tournament after winning their warm up games against Sri Lanka and Australia earlier this month. The first game against Angelo Mathews' side saw India chase a total of 333, with Virat Kohli's knock of 144 followed by Dinesh Karthik's unbeaten 106 made sure MS Dhoni's men win the tie by five wickets with one over to spare.
The game against Australia saw Indian suffer a quick collapse early in their innings. They lost first five wickets with 55 runs on the board. However, Karthik once again came to the rescue with a brilliant performance of 146 and was unbeaten till the end for the second game in a row. India posted a total of 308. In reply, Australia collapsed for 68. Pacers Umesh Yadav bagged five wickets while Ishant Sharma managed three to seal their second win during warm up games.
Meanwhile, South Africa failed to register a win against Pakistan in their only warm up game before the start of the tournament. The Proteas were made to bat first by Misbah-ul-Haq and they failed to post a big score, managing just 202 for the loss of nine wickets in 50 overs. The top order batsmen did not fire from the beginning with Ryan McLaren's 55 and Jean-Paul Duminy's 43 saw their side reach a total of 202.
However, Pakistan did not have any trouble in chasing the target set by the South Africans as they won the game comfortably by six wickets, with just less than five overs remaining in their innings. Lonwabo Tsotsobe was the only bowler who picked wickets for his side and AB de Villiers will be banking on his bowlers to perform against India on Thursday.
- Last Five (most recent first): W W L W W
- Last Result: India defeated Australia by 243 runs
- Last Five (most recent first): L W W L W
- Last Result: South Africa lost to Pakistan by six wickets
Dhoni will be banking on his bowlers to deliver against South Africa on Thursday. Indian are likely to go with a pace attack including Sharma, Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Ravichandran Ashwin will be the only spinner with all rounder Ravindra Jadeja as the fifth bowler in the playing XI. Karthik could start after his two back to back centuries, taking the place of Rohit Sharma in the team.
Probable Line-Up: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma
South Africa are also likely to go with the pace attack with Robin Peterson being the only spinner in the playing XI. Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Tsotsobe along with McLaren will be the key in their bowling division. Duminy can also contribute with the bowl and can be used as a second spinner on Thursday. Hashim Amla and Alviro Petersen are likely to open the batting for the Proteas.
Probable Line-Up: Hashim Amla, Alviro Petersen, AB de Villiers (c & wk), Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Jean-Paul Duminy , Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Robin Peterson, Lonwabo Tsotsobe