London: A demoralised South Africa take on a spirited West Indies team at Hampshire Bowl in Southampton on Monday. With forecasters predicting cloud cover through the match, conditions seem favourable for the pacers.
With South Africa’s Dale Steyn out of the World Cup with injury and Lungi Ngidi still in doubt, skipper Faf Du Plessis may play Beuran Hendricks, who has arrived as replacement for Dale Steyn. South Africa will want to go all out to stop West Indies.
South Africa’s coach Ottis Gibson revealed how dangerous a team West Indies is today. “While the West Indies team were dangerous at one time, this one is no different. They have many players there who can win matches for them. So it’s going to be a tough game tomorrow. Although they did not win their last game, they are still full of confidence. That was seen from the way they played against Pakistan.”
Gibson candidly admitted that his team’s approach in the previous matches had been wrong. “We let ourselves down from the way we played and approached the first two games. In this kind of a tournament, we cannot afford to start slow and that’s exactly what we did. Now we’ve given ourselves a good shake and worked on giving a lot more commitment in the field.”
South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, who came out to address the media before the match, also said that the West Indies is dangerous. “When they get going, they can really hurt the opposition. That is a threat, but we believe we can beat them.”
To a query on whether the talk about the weather tomorrow was disturbing, he said: “Yes there’s been some small talk about it. Again, it’s an uncontrollable thing. But we’re going to control what we can.”
Does his team have a plan against the West Indies? “We have done our analysis already and have our plans in place. Now it is about executing it, or rather practising it to make sure that we execute our plans.”
West Indies team assistant coach Roddy Estwick revealed that his team will continue to play aggressive cricket. “We are playing the West Indian way. We play a brand of aggressive cricket with a smile on our face. And if that gives us the success that we are looking at then that is very, very important.”
Although West Indies skipper Jason Holder was disappointed with the poor umpiring that led to their defeat against Australia, he believes that his team needs to correct the mistakes they have committed. “Players should take a little bit more responsibility, especially when it comes to chasing. It’s important that one of the top four batters be there till the very, very end.”
West Indies is likely to replace Carlos Brathwaite with Kemar Roach to bolster their bowling attack.
Catch the match: South Africa vs West Indies
Live telecast on OSN Sports