T20 World Cup: Spotlight on batters in Proteas-WI encounter
South Africa and the West Indies are in a quite similar position ahead of their T20 World Cup match on Tuesday. Both the teams made disastrous starts to their campaign where poor batting cost them the match.
The pressure, therefore, will be on the batsmen from both the teams.
While South Africa were handed a five-wicket defeat by Australia, West Indies sank to a six-wicket loss against England. The Proteas managed just 118 in their tournament opener, while the Caribbean side fared worse as they were bundled out for just 55 runs.
South Africa have a top-heavy side and loss of early wickets land them in trouble often. Had it not been for Aiden Markram’s 36-ball 40, they would have had an even lower total against the Aussies. Quinton de Kock’s team will therefore be cautious on Tuesday.
But they cannot afford to be over defensive against the West Indies, who can turn things around in surprisingly quick time.
The two-time champions will have to rethink their batting approach. Besides veteran Chris Gayle, none of the players managed to reach double digit scores against England. West Indies were guilty of losing nine of their 10 wickets while trying to go for a big shot. None of the players attempted to rebuild the innings after early setbacks.
But their batting line-up is studded with proven match-winners who play in T20 leagues around the world. So it should not be massively difficult for Kieron Pollard’s men to regroup and start afresh.
On the bowling front, South Africa have a definite edge. Pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje bowled fiery opening spells against Australia before the spin duo Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj turned on the screws in the middle over.
Shamsi and Maharaj will play a key role in exploiting West Indies’ weakness against spin. The bowlers, however, fared better than their batsmen in the first game. Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein (2/24) made a good impression with his quick balls. But the others too will have to chip in.
Super 12, Group 1
⚫ South Africa vs West Indies, Dubai (3.30 pm IST)
Super 12, Group 2
⚫ Pakistan vs New Zealand, Sharjah (7.30 pm IST)