Batsmen under the spotlight as Windies meet S Africa


Pollard: West Indies must ‘forget this and move on’

Runs are as hard to come by as rain in Dubai for both the West Indies and South Africa at the current ICC World T20 tournament.

The two countries having suffered defeats in their respective first games will now meet each other looking to rebound quickly. The West Indies will all the power batters in the world, made an embarrassing 55 all out against England, while South Africa mustered only 118/9 against Australia in Abu Dhabi.

The West Indian batsmen showed that they had no time to settle and build an innings, which is what is needed on these tracks in the UAE. The Dubai track is the slowest of the three venues and again will not repay impatience. West Indian coach Phil Simmons said there will be consideration given to all-rounder Roston Chase as his level-headed batting might be just what the West Indies need amongst the frenetic hitters. Chase made 54 off 49 balls against Afghanistan in the warm-up and although West Indies would hope that his runs come faster, he showed that appreciation for strike-rotation over power hitting.

If Chase comes in the likely replacement is the right-handed Trinidad batsman Lendl Simmons or the Universe Boss Chris Gayle. Gayle was the only player who reached double figures in the first game and the selectors are likely to give him a run hoping he hits form for the back end matches, that will be become very important after their heavy loss to England. South Africa will be looking to spinner Keshav Maharaj on the spin friendly surface.

With no dew factor to come into play because of the 2pm Dubai start, the toss will be less significant, although whoever wins the toss between Keiron Pollard and Temba Bavuma is likely to put the opposition in. The track is dry and would again favour those taking pace off the ball. Akeal Hosein the left-arm orthodox spinner had a good showing with the new ball against England and he and Chase will be key for the West Indies.

South Africa goes into the clash with a slight edge due to their 3-2 series win over the West Indies in the Caribbean a couple months ago. The two teams have met in the World T20 on three occasions with South Africa winning in 2007 and 2009. The West Indies won in 2016 in India enroute to their second title.


Teams: West Indies Kieron Pollard (c), Nicholas Pooran (vc), Akeal Hosein, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh jnr.

South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.

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