- Feb 12, 2010
Weakened Windies face tough task
The Preview by Siddarth Ravindran
May 27, 2010
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Friday, May 28
Start time 09.30 (13.30 GMT)
Graeme Smith scored a steady 37, West Indies v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Antigua, May 24, 2010
Graeme Smith will look to wrap up the series early © AFP
Players/Officials: AB de Villiers | Andre Fletcher | David Miller | Ramnaresh Sarwan
Matches: West Indies v South Africa at Roseau
Series/Tournaments: South Africa tour of West Indies
Teams: South Africa | West Indies
The Big Picture
For a side that has won only one of the previous 14 ODIs at home against South Africa, needing to succeed in all three remaining matches to take the series is enough of a challenge. To make matters worse for West Indies, they have had three players ruled out by injury at least till the start of the Tests - experienced batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan and left-arm-spinner Nikita Miller have joined exciting young fast bowler Kemar Roach on the sidelines.
Chris Gayle's side has been outclassed in the first two one-dayers. South Africa's batsmen have racked up tall totals and their fast bowlers have been reliable, with Morne Morkel's ability to extract bounce on the slow tracks have made him the stand-out performer. The one worry for Graeme Smith ahead of the third match will be his own form, not having made a substantial international contribution since the uncompromising century in the Johannesburg Test against England.
Unlike South Africa, the home side have looked too dependent on their captain Gayle firing at the top. Though Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo battled in the second one-dayer, they needed to score at a punishing pace after the underwhelming batting that preceded them. The misfiring middle order needs to improve if West Indies are to put up more of a challenge in the remainder of the series.
Form guide (most recent first)
South Africa WWWLL
West Indies LLWWW
Watch out for...
Darren Sammy nearly pulled off a miraculous win for West Indies in the second game, smashing six sixes and two fours on his way to the fastest ODI half-century by a West Indian. That came after some impressive showings in the World Twenty20 and in the home series against Zimbabwe recently, all of which have pushed him closer to securing a permanent slot in a line-up which already includes two explosive allrounders in Bravo and Kieron Pollard.
Hashim Amla has been doing his best to shake off his reputation as a Test specialist. He has outshone the two big-name players at the top of the order in Smith and Jacques Kallis over the past six months. His last eight ODI scores are - 80, 57, 86, 11, 34, 87, 102, 92 - which has pushed his average to an astounding 52.86, a figure made even more remarkable as he has played nearly all his matches as an opener.
Darren Bravo and David Bernard have been brought into the squad, while the out-of-form Andre Fletcher has been axed. The injury to Miller means Sulieman Benn should be picked for the Dominica matches, while Darren looks the likely replacement for Sarwan. Narsingh Deonarine's place will probably depend on whether Shivnarine Chanderpaul recovers from his injury in time.
West Indies (probable): Chris Gayle (capt), Dale Richards, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul/Narsingh Deonarine, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Jerome Taylor, Ravi Rampaul, Sulieman Benn
David Miller has played two brisk cameos in the two chances he has had, which should secure him a middle-order berth, leaving JP Duminy and Alviro Petersen to battle for the remaining slot.
South Africa (probable): Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, David Miller, Alviro Petersen/JP Duminy, Ryan McLaren, Johan Botha, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe
Stats and trivia
* Windsor Park has only hosted two international matches so far, one-dayers involving a second-string West Indian side and Bangladesh last year
* AB de Villiers has four centuries in his previous seven ODI innings
* It has been more than two years since West Indies won a bilateral one-day series against a Test-playing nation
"It's now up to us, the batsmen, to play our part. I think we have been let down with our batting in the middle period of the innings."
Chris Gayle says the West Indies middle-order has to lift its performance
"The pitches were very slow, and I am happy with the way we have crafted our innings."
Graeme Smith is happier with the performance of his batsmen, who have racked up big totals in both matches
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo
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this time i hope windies win,if they loose than series intrest end here,darren bravo make a comeback in team,
go windies go.