In the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-final at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, South Africa faces Australia. Despite setbacks, South Africa showcases prowess but struggles in chases. Australia stages a remarkable comeback with seven consecutive wins after initial defeats. South Africa won the crucial toss and elected to bat first. They made 2 changes with Shamsi and Jansen coming back into the side. The exclusion of Ngidi raised eyebrows.
Why is Ngidi not playing?
Lungi Ngidi has not been quite consistent in this tournament. On the other hand, Coetzee has been in tremendous form in this World Cup. He picked up a fifer in the last match. The Eden Gardens wicket is helpful for the spinners. Hence Shamsi’s inclusion was a no brainer. Hence, Ngidi had to make way for Shamsi as Coetzee became the third seamer.
What did the captains say at the toss?
Pat Cummins: We would have batted first as well. But it is overcast and hopefully there’s some swing early on. They play pretty similar style, unfortunately they have won a last few, we are due. We have been in these positions before. We have a lot of experience. We were not up to our best in those couple of games. But guys have been positive in the last seven games. Two changes for us. Stoinis and Abbott are out. Maxwell and Starc are in.
Temba Bavuma: We will bat first. Not something I really dreamt of. We have come against a team like Australia in the semi-final. Means a lot to me, there’s a game to focus on. Very important to stay in the present. Need to stick to our processes. Shamsi is in for Ngidi, Jansen comes in for Phehlukwayo.
South Africa (Playing XI): Quinton de Kock(w), Temba Bavuma(c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi
Australia (Playing XI): Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis(w), Pat Cummins(c), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
The pitch favors initial batting and spinners later on. The head-to-head record stands at 55-50 in favor of South Africa. Key players include Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, Mitchell Marsh, and David Warner. Mitchell Marsh, nearing a 500-run milestone, is vital for Australia’s dynamic batting and adept bowling. Adam Zampa, with 22 scalps, is a potential match-winner. The Eden Gardens match promises strategic adaptability in a crucial World Cup encounter.