Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 22nd 2015 Contents MELBOURNE, Australia---India is brimming
with renewed self-belief after an opening
World Cup win against Pakistan, and star
batsman Virat Kohli says a victory over South
Africa today would take that confidence level
to even greater heights.
After a lackluster test and one-day series
against Australia this summer, India has been
buoyed by victory over its arch rival, and is
again upbeat as it heads into a tough Cricket
World Cup Pool B match at the Melbourne
Cricket Ground against one of the tournament
"South Africa is, as we all know, one of the
top sides in the world and they have a good
balance of batting and bowling, and their fielding
is a rare standard in international cricket," Kohli
said yesterday. "To get over that hurdle tomorrow
will be immense self-belief booster for us in
"It s very important to hold momentum in
a tournament like the World Cup. We started
off on a good note and something we ll be look-
ing to build on over the next few games."
South Africa captain AB de Villiers is putting
less stock in India s performances, or anyone s,
bar that of his own team.
"I m not too worried about other teams
results, even though we are part of the whole
tournament, and it does influence us," he said.
"We know India is still the world champions.
We know they are an incredible cricket team,
so the respect factor is definitely still there."
South Africa also opened its World Cup with
a win, albeit a slightly less convincing 62-run
victory over neighbour Zimbabwe.
The Proteas were in trouble at 83-4 before
David Miller and JP Duminy smashed game-
saving centuries in a 256-run, fifth-wicket
"Sometimes the top three is going to score
a hundred, sometimes 200, sometimes 300.
There will be games where we ll be 10-3, maybe
even 20-4," de Villiers said. "That s a team. You
operate together as a unit. Sometimes the
bowlers will win you games, sometimes the
A crowd of more than 85,000---mostly India
fans---is expected at the MCG.
"I m pretty happy that it s going to be packed.
The last few games I played here it wasn t full,
and it almost feels wrong in a way," de Villiers
said. "It should be good to get the blood flowing
tomorrow playing in front of the big crowd in
a big stadium with great tradition and history."
South Africa has won 43 of its 70 one-dayers
against India, and all three at the World Cup.
De Villiers side also won both games of the
most recent one-day series between the teams
in December 2013, with the third game rained
Kohli, who assumed the test captaincy from
Mahendra Singh Dhoni during the series against
Australia, has had a prolific southern summer
with the bat, with his century against Pakistan
being the latest in a string of tons during the
Back at his preferred spot of No 3 in the bat-
ting order after an experiment at No 4 during
last month s tri-series against Australia and
England, Kohli recognised the growing level of
expectation surrounding his performances and
role in the team.
"If you do well regularly, people want you to
play well in every game," he said. "I can t virtually
score a century in every game that I play. As
long as I know what I m doing with my batting
and the kind of mindset I m in, I m not really
worried about anything else."
South Africa will not rely entirely on its famed
pace battery on Sunday, with de Villers iden-
tifying leg-spinner Imran Tahir as a weapon
against a strong Indian batting line-up.
"I see him as a match winner against any
team in the world," he said. "It s a matter of
bowling him at the right times, and that s my
job, to make sure he bowls at the right times
in order to give him the best opportunity to
win us games, and that s what he s best at
ICC WORLD CUP 2015
Upbeat India looks for World
Cup win over South Africa
India's Virat Kohli, celebrates his
hundred runs during the World Cup Pool
B match against Pakistan in Adelaide,
Australia, last Sunday. AP PHOTO
DUNEDIN, New Zealand---Sri
Lanka captain Angelo Math-
ews says his side will be
treating World Cup new-
comers Afghanistan like a
test-playing nation when
they meet in their second
Pool B match today.
Sri Lanka has a lot more at
stake when the teams take the
field in Dunedin, having suf-
fered a demoralising 98-run
loss to host New Zealand in
the tournament opener last
nation Afghanistan, especially
it s bowling, looked extremely
dangerous at times in its first-
ever World Cup match
Wednesday, until Bangladesh
exposed its inexperienced bat-
ting lineup to win by 105 runs.
"They re a very dangerous
team. You can t take them
lightly because they can upset
a team," Mathews said.
"They ve got nothing to lose.
"We have to expect a good
challenge," he added. "We
can t expect to just run
through them. We ve got to
fight really hard from ball one
to ball 300. Just take it as (we
would against) a test playing
Afghanistan paceman Mir-
wais Ashraf, who claimed two
wickets against Bangladesh,
says his side is ready for a
bigger challenge against Sri
"Insha Allah (God willing)
we will play a positive game
tomorrow," Ashraf said. "The
Sri Lankan side is a senior
side, a full member nation.
Insha Allah it will be a good
Mathews said it was
important for Sri Lanka s
vaunted batting line-up, fea-
turing the likes of Kumar San-
gakarra, Mahela Jayawardene
and Tillakartne Dilshan, set
up a strong platform in the
face to Afghanistan s pace
"One thing we want to
make sure of is we bat
through the first 40 (overs)
and not lose too many wick-
ets," he said.
Afghanistan coach Andy
Moles, meanwhile, said his
side should not be judged by
its first-up performance.
"Sri Lanka will be a step
up, but my biggest message
is you haven t see Afghanistan
play yet," Moles said this
week. "The issue with asso-
ciate cricket at times is con-
sistency. When we re good,
we re very good."
Sri Lanka to treat Afghanistan
like test nation in World Cup
Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews, right, holds hands with a young cricket player at the start
of the opening match of the Cricket World Cup between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at
Christchurch, New Zealand, on Saturday. AP PHOTO
February 22, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Links Archive February 21st 2015 February 23rd 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page