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India plan pace assault in World Cup opener against South Africa

SOUTHAMPTON: Virat Kohli's India will unharness their formidable pace assault in opposition to beleaguered South Africa when the identify contenders open their World Cup campaign on Wednesday.

ICC WORLD CUP 2019: Full Schedule

India are the final of the 10 groups to launch their challenge in England and Wales, and so they get started in opposition to a South Africa aspect already in turmoil after losing their first two fits.

The two-time world champions plan to push South Africa towards removing in Southampton by way of deploying a feared bowling line-up led by way of Jasprit Bumrah, the top-ranked one-day global bowler on the earth.

Bumrah is ably supported by way of fellow quicks Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya.

Wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal lend variety to India's assault, however their number one weapon in seaming English conditions will be the pace bowlers.

"Bowling is going to be India's strength," former batsman Sanjay Manjrekar said.

"India would be favourites alongside Australia and England. New Zealand are the dark horses. The rest are all underdogs."

Kohli, in his first 50-over World Cup as captain, is the important thing to India's batting, with his 10,843 runs in 227 ODI fits at an average of 59.57.

The 30-year-old's importance to India is not misplaced on South African pace bowler Kagiso Rabada, who tried some thoughts video games forward of their doubtlessly feisty clash when he referred to as the skipper "very immature".

"I was just thinking about the game plan, really, but Virat, he hit me for a boundary and then he had a word (during an Indian Premier League game). And then when you give it back to him, he gets angry," Rabada told a cricket website.

"I don't get the guy. Maybe he does it because it gets him going, but that comes across as very immature for me. He is a phenomenal player but he can't take the abuse."

Rabada leads South Africa's injury-hit pace assault, with Lungi Ngidi sidelined after struggling a hamstring strain in Sunday's defeat in opposition to Bangladesh.

Veteran paceman Dale Steyn is also a doubt after missing the primary two video games with a shoulder damage.

But Faf du Plessis's aspect expect to be reinforced by way of the return of batting megastar Hashim Amla, who missed the final sport after being hit at the head by way of a Jofra Archer bouncer in opposition to England.

Thrashed by way of England in their match opener, the Proteas's 21-run defeat in opposition to Bangladesh at the Oval has put them in a dangerous position.

But South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo is confident his staff can still atone for their wretched get started.

"There have been some bad days in my career. I've learned, and the team has learned, that it is not the end of the world," the 23-year-old said.

"We can always bounce back, we are a team that bounces back, from situations and we will definitely do it again."

South Africa great Jaques Kallis believes benefiting from possible first-match rustiness from India could be his former staff's easiest hope of getting back on target.

"It doesn't get any easier against India but it's their first game and our third, so maybe that could give us the edge we need," Kallis said.

"Strange things happen in this sport and if we can get a win then I think we are still good enough to be a contender."

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