India face South Africa in the Cricket World Cup on Wednesday
India vs South Africa (10.30am); Bangladesh vs New Zealand (1pm), live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup (404)
Last Updated: 05/06/19 10:32am
India take to the field for the first time in the 2019 Cricket World Cup on Wednesday, facing a South African side who have already lost their opening two games.
South Africa succumbed to England in the tournament opener last Thursday, losing by 104 runs, before then suffering a shock 21-run defeat on Sunday to Bangladesh, who are also in action again on Wednesday.
India and South Africa first meet in Southampton, live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup from 10.30am, while Bangladesh face New Zealand - who also won their opening game, hammering Sri Lanka by 10 wickets - in a day-nighter at The Oval from 1pm.
South Africa's preparations for their must-win game have been rocked with the news that fast bowler Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a shoulder injury. Left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks has been called up as a replacement.
India captain Virat Kohli, meanwhile, has pledged to treat Proteas paceman Kagiso Rabada with respect after he branded him "immature".
Rabada criticised Kohli as childish in a recent Indian Premier League on-field spat - but Kohli refused to bite back when addressing the media on Tuesday, saying: "If anything needs to be discussed we can discuss it man to man.
"Rabada is always going to be a world-class bowler and a threat to any side he plays against. On his day he can
go through any team.
"In the past we have been able to handle it, but that's only because we've been respectful of his skills but also assured of our batting. That balance will be very crucial."
South Africa have never more so been reliant on the skills of Rabada given the news of Steyn's departure, added to Lungi Ngidi's absence to a hamstring problem picked up in the defeat to Bangladesh. He is expected to be out for at least a week.
In better news, Hashim Amla could be set to return at the top of the order after he was rested against Bangladesh having suffered a blow to the helmet from a Jofra Archer bouncer against England.
India have no injury concerns going into their opening game of the tournament and should field a full-strength side.
As for Bangladesh and New Zealand, both are set to name unchanged teams following impressive opening wins, with Tom Latham even confirming as much for the Black Caps in his Tuesday press conference. It means there is still no place in the XI for Tim Southee or Henry Nicholls.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
The reason why there is no space in the New Zealand side for Southee or Nicholls is due to the stellar showing from their pace attack in their opening win - dismantling Sri Lanka inside 30 overs.
Trent Boult (1-44) was as consistent as ever, while Matt Henry (3-29) responded in the best way possible to a personal pummelling in a warm-up defeat to the West Indies - he conceded 107 in nine overs. Also, look out for the lightning fast Lockie Ferguson (3-22), who regularly tops 90mph.
For Bangladesh, it's the familiar name of Shakib Al Hasan, who provides the biggest threat with bat and ball, but also keep an eye on Soumya Sarkar at the top of the order. His partner Tamim Iqbal often gets the headlines, but it has been Sarkar getting the Tigers off to flyers of late.
With India waiting so long to get started in the tournament, it is our first chance to get a glimpse of Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah, many of our pundits' tips for leading run-scorer and wicket-taker in the competition, while Rabada is key for an injury-ravaged South Africa seam attack.
South Africa's Faf du Plessis: "Six wins is the target, and there's seven games left. It would be great if we could start that tomorrow. There's no easy games anymore in the World Cup.
"Naturally, guys will have a little bit of confidence that's been chucked away and that is normal, that is part of being human. But it's just making sure that we keep strong, keep fighting and stay true to ourselves as a team and a culture."
India's Virat Kohli: "There's a lot to learn in terms of composure. The teams that have been more composed have been winning games.
"The teams that have been forcing it or making bad decisions have suffered. That's the kind of pressure the World Cup brings."
Bangladesh's Mashrafe Mortaza: "It's very important for our players to stay calm. We have just won one match, there are eight more to go.
"We have to plan for our next match against New Zealand and make sure that we execute those plans. More challenges will come."
New Zealand's Kane Williamson: "I think there has been a lot of talk about really high scores, but I think there will be a number of games where that isn't the case and it will require adjustment.
"There won't be one way to play but, I guess, it's just being smart with how we look to operate. It's important to address the surface, the opposition, and try and come up with the best plan."
Watch South Africa vs India in the ICC Cricket World Cup, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am on Wednesday, with Bangladesh vs New Zealand available from 1pm.