Having lost their respective opening matches of the Super 12 stage, South Africa and West Indies will look to bounce back when they meet at the ICC Twenty20 World Cup here on Tuesday.
Both teams have fragile batting to address. Against England, on a pitch where shot-making wasn’t easy, West Indies batters kept going after the bowling despite losing early wickets. The side was eventually bowled out for 55.
If the pitch keeps low and slow, West Indies might start thinking about tweaking its approach with the bat. Roston Chase could replace Chris Gayle at No. 3. Chase can be the anchor and also provide an off-spin option.
South Africa, on the other hand, is light on experience with seven players featuring at their first World Cup.
Against Australia, Temba Bavuma fell early and Quinton de Kock couldn’t get going. David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen’s lack of form is a concern.
Kagiso Rabada wants the batters to play according to the situation. “In these conditions, the ball is sort of moving around a bit. It’s not going to be free-flowing play. The wickets aren’t that particularly flat. We just have to bat well, assess and adapt to the conditions,” he said.
Despite the losses, there were a few positives for both teams, notably their bowling. Defending a paltry 55, West Indies had England four down with left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein picking up two for 24.
Meanwhile, West Indies will be wary of Tabraiz Shamsi, who starred during the recent T20I series in the Caribbean. He took seven wickets in five matches, going for just four runs an over as South Africa won the series 3-2.
“Yeah, we’ve been looking back at that [T20I series in the West Indies] and seeing how in the games so far here [in the UAE], batsmen are going to find a way to score off him and without him being much of a threat,” West Indies head coach Phil Simmons said on Monday.
Both sides will be eager to get their first points on the board.
West Indies: Kieron Pollard (c), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, W. Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.
Match starts at 3:30 p.m. IST.