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Opener Shikhar Dhawan's good form with bat continued in the ODI too as he smashed his maiden ODI hundred to power India towards mammoth total against South Africa.
Rohit Sharma returned to pavilion after scoring 65 runs against South Africa in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
Earlier, openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma provided solid start to India against South Africa in the ICC Champions trophy. Put into the bat, duo started cautiously and took India to past 50 in the first powerplay.
South African skipper AB de Villiers won the toss and invited India to bat first in the opening match of ICC Champions Trophy on Thursday. Proteas will miss the services of star pacer Dale Steyn due to injury.
South Africa are playing with four pacers and one spinner Robert Peterson. Colin Ingram will open for South Africa in this match.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni said he would have loved to bowl first here.
India have dropped regular opener Murli Vijay to accommodate Rohit Sharma in the playing XI. Rohit will open for India while Dinesh Karthik will share the responsibility in the middle order.
Amidst IPL spot fixing row and skipper MS Dhoni’s conflict of interest in Rhiti Sports, Team India is all set to take South Africa in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 opener at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Thursday.
Despite of all what’s been happening back home, MS Dhoni and his young guns are focusing on crucial opening match of Group B.
However, Team India’s brilliant performance in the warm-up match against Sri Lanka and Australia, the confidence level of World Champions are high.
India comprehensively defeated Sri Lanka in their first warm-up match and later outperformed defending champions Australia in the last warm-up game.
The young bloods, who are visiting with Team India, have golden opportunity too to cement their place in the national squad too.
Dinesh Karthik, who played crucial role in Mumbai Indian’s IPL victory, has already earned his place in the playing XI against South Africa after scoring two consecutive hundreds in the warm-up match.
Karthik’s performance has posed real threat to Rohit Sharma’s availability in this game due to his failure in the warm-up matches. However, Dhoni may include him as opener despite of two regular openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay.
During pre-match press conference, Dhoni also indicated to play with five regular spinners.
"With the new rules, the five fielders outside, I think it will be very difficult to play with four bowlers and rely on the part-timers."
Umesh Yadav, who claimed five wickets against Australia, will lead the Indian pace department along with young Bhubneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin will share the responsibility of spin department.
On the other hand, injury-hit South Africa have been trying to remove the big-tournament chokers tag by winning this match. Despite of losing the warm-up game against Pakistan, South African skipper shown confidence in his side and said that his boys will rise on the right occasion.
Due to absence of star batsman Graeme Smith and all-rounder Jacques Kallis, the batting libe-up is looking little weak. Though, Hasim Amla, Alvero Petersen, C Ingram, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy and David Miller are dangerous batsmen of this format.
In the bowling department, star pacer Dale Steyn is doubtful starter for this match due to injury during practice match.
The match is scheduled to be start at 3.00 pm IST.