Follow live: India, South Africa meet in World Cup final

10.26 The anthems are done, and we’re ready to begin. Will India reclaim the trophy they last won – with consequences that changed the face of cricket – in 2007, or will South Africa lift their first World Cup? We are about to find out. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will open for India, as always, and Marco Jansen has the new ball. A leg slip is in position, interestingly, as well as a slip. Will Jansen get this new ball to swing into the right-hander? Left-arm over.

10.21am Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Chris Gayle bring out the trophy, and the two teams follow them out for the national anthems.

Mandeep: “Why time is so slow now? It just feeling by me or anyone else feel same.”

RG: “An ardent Rahul Dravid fan, and a lifetime RSA fan, while being a hardcore Indian. Whom do I support? Will I be more happy or sad today? “

Suryakumar Yadav: “Playing in the final is not easy. Easy to say it’s just another game, there is pressure. But if there is no pressure, there is no fun. Excited by my role. Have always enjoyed it. Wind direction plays a big role here. Know what my strengths are and back myself. Back of the mind, it feels really good to know I have a good record against SA but you have to start afresh on the day. (Conversations last night) Sleep well, stay fresh, stay hydrated (laughs).”

Boomerang : “About Kettleborough and India and the supposed curse: all it really shows is that both have been amongst the best for a very long time now. “

AJ: “Apart from the CT17 final, all the finals that India have lost they have batted first. Let’s see how things unfold here.” — I’m guessing you mean all the recent finals they’ve lost. Some of us can never forget 2003…

Subhayan: “As an Indian is it controversial to say ‘whoever wins today, I will be happy’? Have to submit that one part of the heart is rooting for the team who has faced so much dissappointment over years. “

Andrew Leckonby: “6 different finalists in the last 3 T20 World cups! That’s so unlike cricket but surely another positive about T20.”

SJ: “This is probably the first time 5 left arm spinners are playing in a match.” — And a rare instance of two left-arm wristspinners too.

10.00am Here we go, here we go. Aiden Markram flips the coin at the Kensington Oval, and Rohit Sharma calls tails. India will bat first. “It’s just about understanding the individual role, keep calm, and play like it’s an international match against a top team. Just stay calm and composed. South Africa have played really good cricket in this tournament, we have played really good cricket too, two quality teams.” India are unchanged.

Markram says he would have liked to bat first too. “Looks pretty dry” is his assessment of the pitch. “At times probably not been at our best, but we’ve found a way to win. Today we’re striving for that perfect game, even if perfect is not attainable. It’s a fantastic opportunity, no pressure for us, we’ve never been in a final. You can’t win a trophy if you aren’t in the final.” South Africa are unchanged too.

India: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Rishabh Pant (wk), 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Shivam Dube, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Arshdeep Singh, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.

South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 Aiden Markram (capt), 4 Heinrich Klaasen, 5 David Miller, 6 Tristan Stubbs, 7 Marco Jansen, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi.

This is the first time since 2012 that the captain winning the toss has chosen to bat first in a T20 World Cup final. A lot of that has to do with this being a day game, clearly. Ian Bishop said the pitch looked hard during his pitch report, but not a lot of live grass, so perhaps it could get a little drier as it goes along and bring the spinners into play to a greater degree as the match goes on.

deepak: “100th T20I for Pandya. Go well Champ.”

ankur baid : “Last dance for Rohit and Kohli together for India in blue shirt.” — Maybe in T20Is, possibly, but I see them playing on for a while in Tests and probably ODIs too.

9.56am Thanks, Ekanth, and a warm hello to everyone here. Four minutes to go for the toss. Cannot wait!

Azweer: “In 7 out of 8 T20 World Cup finals, the team which won the Toss had won the game. Will it repeat today too..!!” Yes, you’re right Karthik confirms as he prepares to hop on here.

Pitch and conditions: ‘All numbers around the weather are in the 30s’, says Nasser Hussain, ’30 degree centigrade, 30% chance of rain (hope that goes to none), and 30km/hr winds and they’re important and they’re blowing in the direction of the slightly smaller boundary. This is the central pitch.

Ian Bishop says it’s an interesting-looking surface. It’s been that way all tournament. It’s been rolled a bit but there’s no live grass. It’s hard to start with, hope the ball comes on to bat nicely. More wickets have fallen to pacers here, which may indicate more bounce. As the game goes on, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are footmarks and it grips and slows a bit. The ball hasn’t carried as well as it has in St Lucia but pacers have been effective because if you work hard and hit surface, it can be uncomfortable to drive down and play square. Nasser finishes off saying this is a fair pitch which might not have the bounce of St Lucia or the low bounce of Guyana, says he hopes there is even pace and bounce, which is all everyone wants.

9:46am: Time for the Indian players to get into a huddle. An enthusiastic Rohit gives a pep talk and they finish cheerfully. Stubbs, Markram, Klaasen all having a hit. Maharaj has a bowl. Shamsi too. Sign of things to come?

AS: “not a sell out crowd? ” Not yet. Building up nicely, buzzing, definitely better than the India semi-final

Jan: “Bumrah marking his runup, so he will be in the team!!!” lol

9:32am Here’s Monga, “Bumrah is marking his run, and gets a pat on his back. Sanjana Ganesan, a media professional who is working on the field herself and is Bumrah’s wife, gives him a last-minute hug to wish him luck.” South Africa’s players get in a huddle minutes later. Markram has a chat, they disperse calmly.

Rim: “So pitch supporting SA pacers more than India’s. Will be interesting to see if both teams replace one spinner with seamer. Advantage SA with kind of pace attack they have.” Yeah, Coetzee sounds like a good pick. That’ll mean Shamsi goes out?

sam: “how is pitch on the rating between highway and paddy field?” Closer to highway. Here’s a bit from Nasser Hussain’s report:

Sujatha : “This is very harsh world , with the advent of social media. The losing team is sure to get bashings on social media. One would request all the bashing population to be empathetic with the losing side. Both teams have been nothing short of brilliant” Yeah, as Alagappan Muthu, who’s started the Live Blog, wrote rather eloquently in the match preview, ‘both India and South Africa should be reminded that they are excellent teams and exceptional people. They should both be able to share their love with family. Toast their time with colleagues. Chase after their children. Enjoy the compassion of their fans. If any of that is contingent on the colour of the medal around their necks, we’re doing something really wrong.’

JJ: “If both days are washed out, will India and South Africa share the trophy?” Yes, if the weather prevents the match from being completed even on the reserve day, both teams shall be declared joint-winners, but that (thankfully) seems like it won’t be the case.

Pranav: “@Ekanth beautiful plug of sun is shining!! That was around the time I started following cricket, when this was the opening sequence of india’s tour of WI, probably 2004/05” Cheers, 2006 definitely, but yeah a mid-2000s staple

AHN from Kohat: “Albeit a Pakistani, I’m all for India today. It’s just the way it is folks. “

Dilan K: “@Swathi and @Bishnoi – As a Srilankan, Andrew F Fernando is the only thing going well for us in the cricket world. Amazing writing brother, that Rashid article was next level. ” Thanks on his behalf, will pass it on to him

9:20am: “Pitch is being rolled at the moment, says Matt. “Some blues shirts starting to filter into the stands.” It will be the centre-wicket. 40 minutes away from the toss, and the sights are pristine. Sun is shining, weather is sweet.

Yogesh from NJ: “What is the “Richard Kettleborough jinx”? Can I apply it as a reverse jinx, by saying that it’ll work today and stop India?” He’d officiated in some capacity in eight of the knockout games India have lost in the last ten years. Don’t know about reverse jinx

Monga reminds that the Scotland-England game happened here which was high-scoring. India-Afghanistan too, was here, and India made 180, which was said to be 10-15 above par.

‘Shamsi is marking his run’, informs Monga. ‘I expect no change in either side’

8:55am The Indian team has arrived at the ground. A few fans outside the fence with phones out recording. The South African players are in and training. Reeza Hendricks is around for a pre-match interview. Music’s playing, and it’s just as sunny still. ‘Yet to see her myself but the word is that Rihanna is here…’ informs Matt Roller.

“Chasing becomes a bit harder when it comes to final or sf in this format,” theorises ShahSafeer, “but we all know whoever wins the toss will go for chasing which suggests losing the toss would be a better thing to begin with for either of two captains. At least they’ll start the proceeding without thinking too much about what they actually should’ve gone with, bat or ball! “

swathi: “@Bishnoi – Totally agree. The Rashid article bought a slight tear in my eye at the end. These are articles that makes rabid fans like me (who easily sit at home and criticize) remember that players are humans as well.”

Sowmya : “Hope SA don’t do the mistake that Bangladesh, Australia and England did against India -Win the toss and choose to chase ” Don’t think chasing will be as bad

Dublin Joe: “Barbados webcams if anyone wants to check the weather out” Thanks for the link. It’s a pretty cool feature actually. Here’s the one at Pebble beach, which Google Maps says is about 5km away

Sam: “Can India break the Richard Kettleborough jinx?”

ashish: “Shamsi and Maharaj will create real issues yet again for India as they will slow down against the spinners. “

The guy: “What are chances of match starting late or even tomorrow due to weather? I wish it pospones to tomorrow ” Toss is likely to happen on time. 10am passing shower is what Monga’s forecast said, but the whole match happening today seems almost certain.

Cheers, Suds. It’s just 8:40am at Barbados but might as well be 11 as it’s so bright. Perfect for one of these teams to end their trophy-drought. Boy, so many narratives around that but as some of the pieces linked below demonstrate, they can be dealt with maturity. Lots to appreciate, lots to look forward to and lots to chat about. Thanks for all the comments btw, keep em coming.

Sudhir: “Not sure what app Sidharth Monga has but multiple radars from my end show no rain for the near future. Fingers crossed. These two wonderful teams with great, hard working and truly nice players deserve a bright on time start and a beautiful day for having one of the best days of their lives. Currently 34000 ft heading South from Boston, for the next few hours. Cricinfo is all that I have. Thank you. ” Thanks for tuning in, Sudhir. Also, Monga had said, “My phone seems to suggest only one passing shower at 10 and nothing else through the day.” Also, he’s made the ground and there are a few folks outside the ground.

Vaneez : “All the teams Klassen has represented in his last three finals in IPL,SA20,MLC have lost , wonder if the streak can end today.”

Vikram : “Dube has to give way for Jaiswal or Samson.” Might not be that bad a call but Dube fits well in India’s plan where the top three attack and then he comes in as a spin basher. There was a bit of criticism last game around him coming too far down. But looking back, England had bowled most of their overs from spinners and Hardik coming early gave him a bit of time. But again, think it’ll be unlikely.

Jay: “talking about wholesale changes, India should play Jaiswal for Kohli and Samson for Dube! bold calls but that will make for a very strong team!” Um, no. Gotta agree with Suds on this one

Right then, time for me to hand over the reins to Ekanth, who’s all set with his evening coffee!

8:30am A tall, left-arm fast bowler, swinging it into the right-hand India batter. Don’t want to think it as an India fan, would you? Marco Jansen is just the kind of bowler that you would want in your team in a crunch game against India. But he has wild fluctuations in his returns in “big match”. Sidharth Monga explores the returns of one of South Africa’s key players, with Shiva Jayaraman’s stats inputs.

Bishnoi: “Feature Article ” The Rashid Phenom..” by Andrew Fidel Fernando also deserves special acknowledgement. The link and article will always be saved in our laptops and minds alike. Fantastic Team”

Suresh: “India should bring in Jaiswal/ Samson in place of Dube and let them open with Rohit. Kohli at 3 and Pant down the order. This will surprise SA.” Hard to see such wholesale changes, tbh…

Kiernan: “5 lifelong and long-suffering Proteaa fans are gathered and ready for the final we have been dreaming off. A QDK and Nortje masterclass is first prize, but ready for a nail biter and pain. Cricket Chat, unite!”

Pokhrel: “A great game of cricket waiting for neutral fans. Want to root for South Africa for what they have gone through in the last 25 years since that 1999 world cup semi final with Australia. Hope they beat their demons and get the title. “

8:10am It is the first men’s T20 World Cup final since 2010 that will be played in day time. All of India’s matches have been day games, while South Africa have also played three in the day. India played Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval while the title-clash will be South Africa’s first at this venue in this competition. What are some of the tactics to keep an eye on, then? Nagraj Gollapudi, with help from S Rajesh and Shiva Jayaraman, looks at possible areas where the game could be decided.

Babu: “I actually wish it rains and the trophy gets shared. Both deserving.” You must be in the minority here, surely Babu! 😀

Deepak: “Kindly convey my regards to Sid Monga. That heartbreak article is a true masterpiece !”

Matthew: “What’s QdK doing after this? Is he retiring from international cricket altogether, or has he yet to say? Would be a shame if he finishes without a senior world title IMO, he’s been a great player. ” Should be the it but you never know

Mohit: “Match is never complete without cricinfo feed. Even I have watched almost all games on TV, I have always stayed tuned with the commentary. Thanks for bringing the paper book reading type feel back in our hectic lifestyles. #CricInfoFan”

7:50am Sidharth Monga’s weather app tells him that we can expect a passing shower around 10am local time, and nothing much apart from that. Let’s hope his app is right. *Fingers crossed*

Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma have a shot at redemption, having lost the World Cup final at home last year. This will be Dravid’s last game as India’s coach, and what the road ahead is like for Rohit, the T20I captain, is anybody’s guess. On the other hand, South Africa have had a string of heartbreaks in men’s World Cups in the past. But they would have had little time to brood over them, much like India, because of the short turnaround plus the travel between the matches. Which of the teams will be able to cross the final hurdle today?

Bharat Mulchand: “I have been invited to watch the match about 1.5 hours away. I don’t want to drive there only to find out that the game is postponed to tomorrow. What is the likely that the game will begin on time today?” Going by the word from Barbados, we should have an on-time start, as of now. Still over a couple of hours away, you see

Ram: “Nervously waiting for the start and thought of checking weather. Thankfully Cricinfo updates has me calming down a bit.”

Jay: “never thought I would be here following Cricinfo commentary 3 hours before the game starts! @Amit also hoping for a Kohli special for possibly his last T20 World Cup game! He needs to play down the ground and not try too hard to hit sixes!!” Have most of y’all assumed this to be Kohli’s last T20WC, without it yet coming from the horse’s mouth?

Ravish: “I really hope and wish this game gives us a glimpse into how two good teams play true cricket. A game of the gentlemen without the bullying and word wars. I want the kids watching to know how a game of cricket should be played and what better teams to do that. “

juga: “@gibran: you didn’t miss much. the sprint was a bit of a let down except for the tussle between lando and max where piastri quite opportunistically pulled off an overtake on lando on the outside for p2”

7:30am What’s it like in South Africa ahead of their big cricket day? Firdose Moonda has this to say: “It is very, very quiet in Cape Town. It’s the middle of school holidays and loads of people seem to be away or indoors. There’s a wind picking up here as well, so the outdoor areas are pretty empty. It’s almost a sense that people are too nervous to do too much. Collective breath holding. Word from Joburg is that the fan park at the Wanderers is gong to be vibing. Of course, the Highveld gets icy in the evenings and temperatures will drop as soon as the sun sets around 5.30pm. so an hour into the scheduled start of the match, so it will be interesting to see how many people stay for the full game, especially if there are delays. Overall, South Africa is trying its best not to show how important this is. And for lolz, I spoke to a guy at a store yesterday and and asked him if we knew South Africa were in a World Cup final and he said: ‘Oh, is that like one Brazil play. I stopped watching sport in 2010!'”

Gibran: “I woke up an hour late for an F1 race and missed it, but seeing this feed means that waking up at 6am wasn’t all completely worthless”

Amit : “Excited for the day and hoping Kohli back in form for the final. Go India!!”

7:20am A bit of #WeatherWatch from Matt Roller, who is up and about in Bridgetown. He says that there is no rain right now but just a bit of breeze, approximately 4kms away from the ground. There was a lot of rain overnight.

Naveena: “what are you doing here, Suds? should you not be in Chennai?” Srinidhi Ramanujam and Sruthi Ravindranath are our eyes and ears at Chepauk, reporting on the game and dishing out some superb match pieces.

Talkative_intro: “Got up at 6 to complete my studies before the match starts. Resisted but had to check here for the weather forecast. Did not realize that a side benefit could be to become (potentially) the 1st published comment on a hopefully Epic and historic day for Indian cricket. “

7:10am What does the South Africa men’s team reaching their first World Cup final mean for a passionate country like theirs? “A men’s team in a cricket World Cup final means we are rising, relevant and ready to show the world that sometimes, even in the briefest of moments, shared success is possible. But for once, we’re not screaming about it. We’re holding our breath, because cricket has not given cause for much else. The disappointments of seven World Cup semi-finals defeats is one reason that South Africans are cautious when it comes to cricket, but there are others,” writes Firdose Moonda in ‘For South Africa, and those who know what they know’.

Paul Wesley: “As an Indian fan who also supports SA over the years, I have wished for many years for this moment. India Vs SA in a WorldCup final. But now that is here, it’s stomach churning. I feel I am gonna be sad unless it ends in a tie. I have realized that, an Indian win will give me joy but a SA victory will give me peace. “

Jay: “As Sidharth Monga has duly marked, both teams duly deserve this title! Best wishes for the both! Hope to see a great match! May the best team wins!”

Wajid Jawaid : “Given South Africa’s greater heartbreaks in world tournaments, I think most neutrals would be favouring them today. But then India has millions of followers anyway. I believe today’s fan support would be somewhat equal. You may run a poll later to confirm! “

Manish: “Excited to see the comma open early, yay! Would India be tempted to bring in third seamer in this ground favoring seamers? But would they risk leaving Kuldeep out?” Hard to see them tweak their side, Manish

6:50am The Kensington Oval in Barbados has been a key presence in a few of India and South Africa’s heartbreaks historically. In World Cups, too, the finalists have endured multiple disappointments. Like India, who finished runners-up in the ODI version at home last year. Or South Africa, who have cleared the semi-final hurdle for the first time in men’s World Cups.

Both teams are unbeaten and have played the best cricket in the conditions on offer. And yet, they will have to live with the reactions of what happens in the final tonight. “That’s how it is. It is a fact of life the participants appreciate more than anyone else. For they must live with it. They must play it like any other game but know that it is not seen as that. They must not admit the role luck can play. Yet compulsively they must follow same routines,” writes Sidharth Monga in ‘Heartbreak or glory, India and South Africa are already winners’.

chetan Patel: “its would be midnight here in Australia by the time the match starts! Thank you Cricinfo for starting the news feed nice and early.”

6:30am Open the windows. Feel the air. Let it flow in. Soak it all. Do you feel it? It’s Saturday, baby! It’s not just any other day, it’s #T20WorldCup 2024 final day!

After four weeks of competitive cricket of different kinds, in the USA and West Indies, we are in Bridgetown, Barbados. India and South Africa, both teams unbeaten, take on one another; one in search of their first ICC title in a decade, and the other, their first-ever world championship title. Al Muthu lays out the bare bones of this contest in his preview.

Hello and welcome to ESPNcricinfo’s coverage of the title-clash, wherever you are joining from. It’s a big day, a lot of you eager to know what’s happening – with the weather as well as the build-up, at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. So we are here nice and early, to feed you updates drip by drip (and I am not referencing the weather here, I swear). Sit back, relax and do chime in with your views!

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