The first game of the tri-series between West Indies and South Africa was concerning for all teams involved. The sluggish and slow nature of the pitch meant that run scoring was quite perilous and even a mediocre total could be easily defended. With Australia taking on the hosts on Sunday, the Kangaroos have a task right ahead of them.
In the pre match press conference, skipper Steve Smith seemed confident about his batsmen adjusting to the conditions. Smith stated that since the wickets were already on the slower side, it made sense to bat first and avail the initial benefits offered by the strip at Guyana.
“My thoughts before yesterday’s game was that it wasn’t going to be a high-scoring game,” Smith said. “It’s about being smart, particularly through the middle overs against the spinners, making sure we’re able to rotate the strike, and if we get a bad ball, put it away. Whereas in Australia, the bounce is consistent, the ball doesn’t spin a great deal, so you can hit through the line and take the game on a little bit more.”
However, the Australian captain added that openers David Warner and Aaron Finch were capable of scoring on any surface. “I don’t think you need to tell Davey Warner or Aaron Finch how to play too much. I think that’s just their natural instinct, to play their shots, which hopefully will get us into a good position.
It looks as though it might be one of those wickets where the new ball is the easiest time to bat and then the wicket slows down, making it harder to score. If we try and make the most of those first six to ten overs, hopefully we can hold ourselves in good stead for the rest of the innings,” Smith added.
Stating spinner Sunil Narine as a threat, Smith said that the Australians were well prepared to counter him. “I think it’s about each individual batter having a plan against him,” Smith said. “Obviously, he’s a quality bowler with a different set of skills than we’re used to seeing. I think most of our guys have seen him play in the IPL or for the West Indies and know what he brings to the table. It’s just about going out and executing our skills against him.”