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Confident India ready for South Africa


Confident India ready for South Africa

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – India are brimming with renewed self-belief after an opening Cricket World Cup win against Pakistan, and star batsman Virat Kohli says a victory over South Africa on Sunday would take that confidence level to even greater heights.

After a lacklustre Test and One-Day series against Australia this summer, India have been buoyed by victory over their arch rival, and are again upbeat as they head into a tough Pool B match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against one of the tournament favourites.

“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 Saturday. “To get over that hurdle tomorrow will be immense self-belief booster for us in many ways.

“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 looking to build on over the next few games.”cricket-world-cup-2015-logo

South Africa captain A.B. 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 their World Cup with a win, albeit a slightly less convincing 62-run victory over neighbour Zimbabwe.

The Proteas were in trouble at 83 for four before David Miller and J.P. Duminy smashed game-saving centuries in a 256-run, fifth-wicket stand.

“Sometimes the top three is going to score a hundred, sometimes 200, sometimes 300. There will be games where we’ll be 10 for three, maybe even 20 for four,” de Villiers said. “That’s a team. You operate together as a unit. Sometimes the bowlers will win you games, sometimes the batters will.”

A crowd of more than 85 000 – mostly India fans – is expected at the MCG.