Kolkata, Nov 16: South Africa captain Temba Bavuma has won the toss and elected to bat first against Australia in the second semi-final of 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup at a cloudy Eden Gardens here on Thursday. The winner of Thursday’s clash will face hosts India in the title clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
A heavy cloud cover and some drizzle meant there was some uncertainty over the toss happening on time. But the toss took place at the scheduled time, despite the rain threat looming around the match.
By electing to bat first, South Africa are backing their strength of batting first in this tournament. Bavuma also said Tabraiz Shamsi and Marco Jansen are in the playing eleven in place of Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo.
"It (weather) did come into consideration, but we've looked at our strengths as a team. I'm not 100% fit but I think it's got to be good enough. It's massive, not something I dreamt of, coming into a semi-final carrying the hopes and aspirations of people back home."
"I don't want to think about it too much, we have a game of cricket to focus on. The rugby team sent us a heartfelt message this morning," said Bavuma.
For Australia, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc are back in the playing eleven for Marcus Stoinis and Sean Abbott. "We'd have liked to bat first, pretty gloomy out there, so maybe it'll swing early. They played similar style to us, and won the last few but we're 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,” said captain Pat Cummins.
Australia: Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis (wicket-keeper), Pat Cummins (captain), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Temba Bavuma (captain), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada and Tabraiz Shamsi. (IANS)