Preview – String South Africa hot favorites against West Indies
The last time South Africa and West Indies met in a World Cup – in the 2015 edition at Sydney – the Proteas went on to post 408 on the board and won the match by a whopping 257 runs. South Africa have maintained rather firm domination over the West Indies these past few years, and in the last five ODIs between the two sides, West Indies has won only once – back in June 2016 at Providence.
Hence, when the two teams clash in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Southampton, it will be South Africa who should be holding the edge. Captain Faf Du Plessis has a strong team at his disposal. The likes of Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, and Aiden Markram along with the captain might be the impact-makers of the batting unit. They know the opposition well now and will be confident of dominating them.Embed from Getty Images
South Africa’s bowling has two of the best pacers any team can have – young Kagiso Rabada and the experienced yet fiery Dale Steyn. The two will form a lethal combo and can dismantle the West Indies if they find the rhythm. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who was the leading wicket-taker of IPL 2019, will pose a stiff challenge to the West Indian batsmen with his googlies and varieties. West Indies have always been weak against spin and Tahir may well be the wrecker-in-chief in this match.
West Indies do have a strong batting unit comprising the likes of Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran and even captain Jason Holder. But the one who can make a difference is all-rounder Andre Russell. He was in sensational form in the IPL, and with his big-hitting on a flat surface, he can take South Africa on.Embed from Getty Images
As for their bowling, West Indies has young pacer Oshane Thomas along with Sheldon Cottrell. Both are quality bowlers and can put a dent in the South African top order. Kemar Roach has experience and pace and may well prove to be effective. Jason Holder too will hope to provide support.
Pitch Conditions and South Africa vs West Indies Prediction:
The conditions at The Rose Bowl, Southampton, will be ripe for batting. Batsmen from both sides should make merry in this match. The highest team total on this venue is 373-3 by England against Pakistan which was achieved as recently as May 2019. The pitch stays true and will be good even while chasing. New Zealand had successfully chased England’s score of 302 here in 2015.
The team batting first would target somewhere in the range of 320-plus. If the ball moves around a bit in the first ten overs, then South Africa will become dangerous with their pace battery. All in all, this should be an entertaining encounter with some big runs scored. But South Africa, in all probabilities, should clinch this game.