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Proteas’ strength will be put to the test against New Zealand, India at Cricket World Cup

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A lot has been said of the Proteas’ impressive start to the Cricket World Cup, but their game plan will be put to the test because both New Zealand and India are in good form.

The Proteas will have to be on to on top of their game for the rest of their matches at the Cricket World Cup. Picture: R Parthibhan, Shutterstock via BackPagePix

THE STRENGTH of the Proteas will be put to the test this week as they get set to play New Zealand and India at the 50-over World Cup.

The Proteas have recorded five victories in their first six group matches. It is already an improvement from how the 2019 campaign turned out for South Africa, a campaign that saw then captain Faf du Plessis’ team crash out of the tournament well before the round-robin stage finished.

This time around, the Proteas have managed to string together big victories, including a win against Australia, a team that always does well at World Cups. This week, the Proteas are set to take on their toughest challenge as they face the Black Caps on Wednesday followed by the hosts on Sunday.

A lot has been said of SA’s impressive start to the tournament, but their game plan will be put to test because both New Zealand and India are in good form.

New Zealand will be even more motivated to beat the Proteas after they suffered a humbling defeat to Australia at the weekend. New Zealand have been without captain Kane Williamson throughout their campaign, but have seen youngster Rachin Ravindra rise to the occasion with two centuries.

Batter Daryl Mitchell has also been key to New Zealand’s success and will be itching to test himself against one of the best bowling attacks at the tournament. On the bowling front, New Zealand are led the a skilful duo of Trent Boult and Matt Henry, while spinner Mitchel Santner lurks behind the fast bowlers.

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The Proteas then have the daunting task of taking on India later this week.

The thought of facing an in-form batting unit that includes Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul is daunting, not only for the Proteas bowling unit, but for all the teams at the tournament.

Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami lead the Indian bowling stocks and will pose a different challenge all-together for the Proteas batters, especially the top order of Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock.

Spinners Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav, complete the Indian bowling attack. Bavuma and his players need to manoeuvre and find ways around these two great teams this week.

How they perform against them will paint a vivid picture of just how high a ceiling this team has.

The stakes are high as one victory for the Proteas this week will guarantee a spot in the semi-finals.

The Proteas will play in Pune and Kolkata this week, respectively.

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