India v South Africa: Everything you need to know

Updated: 

A place in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals awaits the winner as India and South Africa prepare to face off at The Oval on Sunday.

With all four teams in Group B locked together on two points with one game to go - Sri Lanka play Pakistan on Monday in the last match of the group stage - one of the expected last-four sides will be going home early.

India's shock loss to Sri Lanka and South Africa's similarly surprising defeat by Pakistan in their last Champions Trophy outings has thrown open the section and with the weather forecast clear and the surface true, Sunday's clash could be a classic.

In all three of the previous Champions Trophy meetings between these nations India have come out on top and captain Virat Kohli believes his side will handle the pressure.

"It's a great scenario where you literally have two matches now which are going to be even more competitive cricket," Kohli said. "So we are pretty clear about the whole situation. It certainly opened up the whole table for sure."

South Africa will be looking for more from their captain AB de Villiers, who has scored four runs in the tournament so far and was dismissed for his first ODI golden duck against Pakistan, although he is battling a hamstring injury.

India may throw in Ravichandran Ashwin - the left-armer has been left out of both matches so far -  as South Africa's top six is likely to contain three left-handers and India could use his match-winning spin after their bowling attack has been exposed.

 

KEY PLAYERS:

While Kohli is rightly regarded as the best player in this India team, Rohit Sharma has been the star of the show for his country so far, scoring 91 against Pakistan and 78 against Sri Lanka.

Although De Villiers is yet to catch alight in this year's Champions Trophy, he is one of the most dangerous players in the tournament and in his career has scored 1,279 runs against India in this format of the game at an average of 53.3.

 

PROBABLE LINE-UPS:

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.

South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (captain), David Miller, JP Duminy, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.

 

LAST ODI MEETING: 

South Africa claimed a 3-2 series victory in Mumbai in October 2015 with a sensational batting performance setting up a crushing 214-run win thanks to brilliant centuries from a trio of batsmen - De Kock (109), Du Plessis (133), and De Villiers (119) - as Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 10 overs went for an eye-watering 106 runs.

 

QUOTES:

"Lot of times, teams try to do something special and end up messing the game up in important situations. The team that will have better composure will have a better chance in winning the match. That is what I have experienced in the past." - Kohli wants his side to take better advantage of strong starts.

"Look, I'm still in good form. Still hitting the ball well, as always. It's just a matter of going out and doing it. There's nothing I can say here that's going to change anything except for that I still believe I can and hopefully I'll prove that." - De Villiers is backing himself to come good despite two poor innings at the Champions Trophy.

 

OPTA STATS:

- India have only progressed from the group stage once across their last four appearances in the Champions Trophy; they did go on to win it on that occasion though (2013)

- Virat Kohli (India) has posted 50+ in two of his last three ODI innings against South Africa; recording knocks of 138 and 77 in that time

- South Africa have alternated between going out in the group stages and semi-finals across their last five appearances in the Champions Trophy; they progressed to the final four in 2013