The Men’s 2023 ODI World Cup is underway in India and will run from October 5 until November 19. Each morning we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you insights from our reporters on the ground.
Top Story: Markram, van der Dussen and de Kock flay centuries in huge South Africa display
South Africa 428 for 5 (van der Dussen 108, Markram 106, de Kock 100) beat Sri Lanka 326 (Asalanka 79, Mendis 76, Shanaka 68, Coetzee 3-68) by 102 runs
Match analysis: South Africa defy the gloom
This is a different South African team to the ones we are used to. They come here with great numbers against spin. Since the start of 2022, they average 42 against spin in the middle overs at a-run-a-ball, the best by a distance. In Markram and Heinrich Klaasen, they have two of the most-sought-after middle-overs batters. And yet even those building them up were a little circumspect because, after all, they did lose to spin in a T20 World Cup that they were among the favourites to win last year.
Starting in Delhi against a side that relies on slower bowlers was going to be challenging, but a relaid surface didn’t quite test South Africa on the conditions front. With that rider out of the way, South Africa did serve a warning to other contenders. The highest World Cup total, the quickest World Cup century, three centuries in one innings should be enough for the world to sit up and take notice, but it was the assured, unhurried manner in which they went about doing it that will concern the others.
Mehidy stars as Bangladesh make early mark against Afghanistan
Bangladesh 158 for 4 (Shanto 59*, Mehidy 57) beat Afghanistan 156 (Gurbaz 47, Mehidy 3-25, Shakib 3-30) by six wickets
After being sent in, Afghanistan got off to a solid start before Shakib changed the momentum with the wickets of Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah. Afghanistan could never recover from there, slipping from 83 for 1 to 156 all out. Mehidy, who had contributed to that collapse with a three-wicket haul of his own, then struck a half-century, albeit a chancy one, from No. 3. Najmul Hossain Shanto, too, continued his excellent form with an unbeaten 59 as Bangladesh wrapped up the game with more than 15 overs to spare.
Match analysis: How it fell apart for Afghanistan
First with the bat and then in the field, they brought about their own demise. Rahmat Shah’s dismissal, miscuing a slog sweep against the spin off the first ball after drinks, set about a capitulation of 9 for 73. Perhaps surprised by a slower pitch than most had anticipated, nobody in their middle order managed more than 22.
Hashmatullah Shahidi, their captain, personified a collective failure to find the right tempo with the bat. He had pledged on the eve of their tournament opener to play positively, but struggled painfully to 5 off 22 at one stage, rendered shotless by Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Shakib.
Must Watch: Steyn reflects on South African pain from past World Cups2>
India vs Australia, Chennai (2pm IST; 8.30pm GMT; 7.30pm AEDT)
The air will crackle with anticipation, but there’ll be a tinge of anxiety too, for this is India’s first match in a home World Cup that they start as favourites. It’s hard to imagine the pressure a team can go through in these situations, and it’ll come as a relief to India’s players when the umpires call “play”, and there’s a ball to focus on, or a batter and a set of stumps at the other end.
It’ll be a stern test right off the bat, because they’re playing Australia, and is there anything as spine-jellifying in sport as the prospect of facing Australia in a cricket World Cup?
India (probable XI): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill/Ishan Kishan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer/Suryakumar Yadav, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mohammed Siraj
Australia (probable XI): 1 David Warner, 2 Mitchell Marsh, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Cameron Green, 6 Alex Carey (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Pat Cummins (capt), 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Adam Zampa
Feature: Mitch Marsh is huge and is six-hitting his way to new heights
Captain Pat Cummins spoke glowingly of Marsh’s six-hitting on Saturday. “I mean first of all his size is huge and he’s always been a power-hitter,” Cummins said. “I think that’s kind of his most natural trait as a batter. He’s super powerful and can clear the ropes easily.