Rediff.com  » Cricket » The doosra: South Africa hold the aces

The doosra: South Africa hold the aces

February 19, 2015 17:21 IST

Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com on the India-South Africa clashThe Men in Blue have never beaten the Proteas in a World Cup game.

Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com looks at the lighter side of India-South Africa games ahead of the World Cup clash on Sunday.

Now that the euphoria surrounding India's victory over Pakistan has abated a bit, it's time to focus on the defending champions's next game.

On Sunday, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co take on South Africa, without doubt their toughest opponents in the group, in their second Pool B match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

If Pakistan went into the game in Adelaide under pressure, having never defeated India in a World Cup game, India will be under pressure at the MCG.

The Men in Blue have never beaten the Proteas in a World Cup game.

Each of South Africa's three wins were equally convincing.

The first encounter at the Adelaide Oval in 1992, shortly after South Africa re-entered the international fold, saw Kepler Wessels's side winning a rain-truncated match by six wickets.

When the two teams played next in a World Cup game at Hove, England, in 1999, South Africa won by four wickets.

The most recent encounter was at the Vidarbha Cricket Assopciation Stadium in Nagpur in 2011.

Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers nullified a magnificent effort by Sachin Tendulkar (111), helping the Proteas to a three wicket victory.

Though India won the tournament, the loss was the lone blot for the hosts in what was otherwise an excellent campaign.

India doesn't have a superior head-to-head record against the South Africans, which Pakistan could boast of ahead of the Adelaide game.

In the 70 ODIs between the two sides, beginning with the Eden Gardens encounter in November 1991, India have won only 25. The Proteas have been triumphant in 42 games.

The current South African side also seems better than Team India in all respects.

The Proteas' batting line-up -- which includes Amla, de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, J P Duminy and David Miller -- is almost at par, if not better, than India's batting stars.

When it comes to bowling and fielding, truth be told, Team India stands nowhere close to the South Africans.

Dhoni and Co have a herculean task ahead of them on Sunday.

If they win, the top spot in the group will more or less be assured for Team India.

SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT