ICC World Cup 2019, India vs South Africa Southampton: Ahead of India’s opening game in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, skipper Virat Kohli has sent a strong warning in the opposition camp on the eve of the big-ticket game at The Rose Bowl in Southampton. Starting the war of words before the big game, Proteas pace bowling spearhead – Kagiso Rabada rated Kohli as a phenomenal player but termed his behaviour ‘extremely immature’.

“I am not going to use the press conference to talk against Rabada. If there is anything for me and Rabada to discuss, we can do that man to man. He is always a skilful bowler, he has the potential to run through the opposition, so we need to look to play him accordingly,” Kohli spoke at a press conference in Southampton, a day before India begin their WC campaign opener versus South Africa.


For every cricket fanatic or expert, the duel between Rabada and Kohli on June 5 will perhaps be the most interesting battle on the pristine 22-yard Southampton strip. The 24-year-old, who is spearheading South Africa’s pace attack in the quadrennial extravaganza in England is known for giving his more than 100 percent on the field which at times lead him into trouble.

Explaining the reason behind his big claim, Rabada had quoted that the Indian skipper can’t take the abuse, which looks very immature for him. He also added that the aggression might work for Kohli but from the outset, it looks silly. During the IPL 2019 match between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, both Kohli and Rabada were involved in a heated exchange.

“I was just thinking about the game plan, really, but Virat, he hit me for a boundary and then he had a word. And then when you give it back to him, he gets angry. 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. But those things can’t distract you,” Rabada was quoted by ESPNCricinfo.

SQUADS — 

India: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, David Miller, Beuran Hendricks , Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pertorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamshi, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Chris Morris, Rassie van der Dussen.