World Cup 2019: Yuzvendra Chahal... verve and vigour

Updated: Jun 06, 2019, 07:34 IST | Santosh Suri | Southampton

Relying on the superb effort of their bowlers and a masterly century by Rohit Sharma, India opened their World Cup campaign with a comprehensive six-wicket win with 2.3 overs to spare.

India's Yuzvendra Chahal (left) celebrates a South African wicket with skipper Virat Kohli. Pic/Bipin Patel
India's Yuzvendra Chahal (left) celebrates a South African wicket with skipper Virat Kohli. Pic/Bipin Patel

India are not a team to let go of an opportunity to put down an opponents who are low on confidence. They made the most of a disarrayed South African team who were downcast after two successive defeats and hampered by injuries to their premium pace bowlers. Relying on the superb effort of their bowlers and a masterly century by Rohit Sharma, India opened their World Cup campaign with a comprehensive six-wicket win with 2.3 overs to spare.

Opting to bat first, South Africa would have targeted a total well in excess of 270 to put the strong Indian batting under pressure, especially as the latter were playing their first game of this World Cup. But the Indian bowlers, especially Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal (4-51), bowled with verve and vigour and did not allow much leeway to the South African batsmen, who could manage only 227 for nine after losing their openers early.

Though India would have taken a target of 228 before the start of the game, they were made to fight for every run by incisive bowling by the South Africans, be it pace or spin. But what they required was a spate of wickets. India, anchored by Rohit with an unbeaten 122, batted sensibly to ensure that there were not many hiccups as India chased down a rather moderate target at a leisurely pace. Having pocketed full points and a lot of confidence from this game, they now move to London where they will be up against a strong Australian team at the Oval on June 9.

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