South Africa will take on West Indies in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) at Port Elizabeth on Sunday. The hosts have already sealed the series after winning the first three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) of the five-match series. However, the West Indies will look to get back in the game ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
West Indies have been humiliated in the series so far. After losing the Test series 2-0, West Indies won the Twenty20 International (T20I) series 2-1. However, post the T20s, things went back to the way they have been for a while.
The visitors lost the first match by the Duckworth-Lewis (DL) method. In the second match, riding on Hashim Amla’s 153, Rilee Rossouw’s 128, and AB de Villiers’s 31-ball century, South Africa destroyed the West Indian bowlers. In reply, West Indies could only manage 291 for the loss of seven wickets.
Then in the previous ODI, Imran Tahir and Vernon Philander ran through the West Indian batting line-up. With a small target in mind, Amla and Faf du Plessis sealed the series for South Africa. West Indies captain Jason Holder recently criticised the casual approach of the players. Leading the team in his first ODI series, Holder blamed the players for repeatedly making the same mistakes. None of the players has been influential in the ODI series so far.
The bowlers have been unable to restrict the strong South African batsmen, whereas, a lack of partnerships have hurt the West Indies batting. It will be interesting to see how they approach in the remaining two games.
South Africa on the other hand came back strong after a dispiriting T20I series. Amla and Rossouw have led from the front, with de Villiers providing his inimitable back up. There is not much to worry about in the South African batting line-up, with some excellent batsmen up the order. As for the bowling, it has been a similar story. Dale Steyn, Philander, and Tahir have been exceptional.
The Proteas would like to see du Plessis, David Miller and Farhaan Behardien fire in the remaining two matches. Quinton de Kock is expected to be back from injury as well, though the Proteas might not want to rush him in till he is fully match fit. South Africa’s coach Russell Domingo has also revealed his intentions of making Morne van Wyk play in order to rest de Villiers from wicketkeeping in the final two matches.
Amla is also unlikely to play the ODI at Port Elizabeth, but is likely to return for the final at Centurion. Earlier, Domingo said that he intends on making the full squad play ahead of the 2015 World Cup, which is co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. In that case, Wayne Parnell, Kyle Abbott and Aaron Phangiso could also feature in the remaining two matches. Ideally a good batting pitch, another high scoring match can be expected at Port Elizabeth.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (c), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw, Morne van Wyk (wk), Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Imran Tahir, Aaron Phangiso, Morne Morkel.
West Indies: Jason Holder(c), Marlon Samuels, Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Darren Sammy, Carlos Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Narsingh Deonarine, Leon Johnson, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Sulieman Benn, Jerome Taylor.
Time: 13.30 Local | 8:00 GMT |17:00 IST
(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English television show on her laptop. Her Twitter handle is @blackrosegal)