The ongoing tri-series in the Caribbean has completely opened up after the hosts outplayed Australia recently at St. Kitts. By the virtue of the win, the West Indians are now situated at a fairly comfortable position and carry the momentum ahead of their important clash against South Africa at the same venue. A win over South Africa could well book their berth in the final.
Contrasting to the West Indies, things seem to be a tad different for the Proteas. In what should have been an easy win over Australia, turned out to be an embarrassing loss as the South Africans faltered against the Kangaroos in their previous fixture. In order to stay in the hunt, it becomes crucial for the Proteas to win against the hosts at all costs.
In the pre-match press conference, South Africa skipper AB De Villiers admitted that West Indies now was an improved ODI side. “They’re not as unpredictable as they used to be. They’ve become a really good ODI unit,” De Villiers said. “They seem to know what they’re doing – they’ve got world-class players both in the batting line-up and the bowling line-up. They’re a force to be reckoned with, especially in their home conditions. They know what to expect.”
De Villiers added that it was imperative to change the team according to the external conditions. “I’m a big believer, in a series like this, where there are three different venues, that you’ve got to chop and change the whole time; try not to be predictable but, at the same time, try and be consistent with your performances,” he added.
“We’ve let ourselves down once or twice in the performances department but I’ve really enjoyed the way we’ve changed the balance of the side. All the guys who came in performed really well individually but as a team, we haven’t clicked yet. That will be our focus – really operating together as a team, gelling nicely together, and I believe we’ll play those pressure situations much better,” said an optimistic De Villiers.