Time: June 26, 11:30 PM IST
Venue: National Cricket Stadium, St George’s, Grenada
In the only T20I played at the venue, we witnessed as many as 412 runs being scored. West Indies fell painfully short by 4 runs while chasing 209 against Ireland just before the pandemic began. Given the batting prowess of both teams, a high-scoring game is on the cards.
West Indies: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard (c), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Andre Russell, Jason Holder, Dwayne Bravo, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Obed McCoy
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Janneman Malan, Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van de Dussen, Henrich Klaasen, Andile Phehlukwayo/George Linde, Kagiso Rabada, Lizaad Williams, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Players to watch out for
Chris Gayle likes feeding on the South African bowlers. In a meagre 7 T20Is, he has smashed 307 runs including a hundred and 2 fifties.
Quinton de Kock looked in fine touch in the Test series, registering scores of 141* and 96. In the Indian T20 League, he had scored a fifty and two scores in excess of 30 in 6 matches.
Andre Russell will be back to the international stage after 15 months. In his last T20I, he scored 40 off 14 against Sri Lanka. Since then he has been flexing his muscles in various T20 leagues across the globe. Above all, he is back to full fitness and bowled effective spells in the death overs for Kolkata in the Indian T20 League.
Rassie van der Dussen has been South Africa’s top player across formats. His last 7 international scores read 123, 60, 34*, 52, 46, 4, and 75*.
In the home series against Pakistan earlier this year, Aiden Markram scored 3 fifties in 4 T20Is at an outstanding strike rate of 154. Markram opening the innings with de Kock will make South Africa’s powerplay even more entertaining.
The last time Kieron Pollard played a T20, he took 2 for 12 and scored an unbeaten 87 off 34 including 8 sixes, for Mumbai in the Indian T20 League. There’s nothing this man cannot do in the shortest format.
Kagiso Rabada is back in full flow after an ordinary show in the Indian T20 League. In the Test series, he took 11 wickets at 11.4 and registered scores of 40 and 25.
West Indies are an unpredictable team. On their day, they can chase any total. On other days, they may fail to live up to the expectations. It isn’t their fault, though. They have incredibly talented players at their disposal. There’s a reason they have won the WT20 twice.
South Africa lost to Pakistan at home in their previous T20I series, but that was mostly due to the absence of de Kock, Rabada, Faf du Plessis, among other top players. All in all, they have a balanced side.
To put things into perspective, West Indies not only have the home advantage but also the luxury of experienced players. South Africa do have talents in their ranks, but West Indies’ team composition is far superior. The visitors will have to punch well above their weight.