Cricket World Cup 2019: South Africa running out of breathing room as tricky Windies test awaits

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Its all gone horribly wrong for South Africa.

In a clash that should assume greater significance as the tournament progresses, South Africa will take on the West Indies in a crucial 2019 ICC World Cup match at Southampton on Monday.

The pressure on Monday will entirely be on the Proteas, however, with Faf du Plessis and his men yet to open their account after suffering three losses on the bounce. Windies, on the other hand, will be desperate to bounce back after sustaining a 15-run loss to Australia in their most recent outing.

PROTEAS GETTING THAT SINKING FEELING

Choking under the pressure in the business end of World Cups has been all too common for South Africa previously, but the Proteas now find themselves in real danger of making a hash of their entire campaign.

They came to England without the added pressure that comes with being one of the favourites for the title, but they now face a different kind of threat after a series of misfortunes and losses along the way. All that can wrong, has gone wrong for Du Plessis and his men who have become the first South African team in history to lose three World Cup matches on the trot.

On the face of it, things are not as bad as they seem for the Proteas with two of their losses coming against tournament favourites England and India. However, it is the shock defeat against Bangladesh that has thrown serious question marks over their credentials.

The hamstring injury to pacer Lungi Ngidi was a big setback and veteran Dale Steyn’s unfortunate tournament exit has only compounded the woes for South Africa. The suspect timing of reports pertaining to AB de Villiers’ offer to come out of retirement for the tournament has not helped matters for the team, either.

It is these adversities that the Proteas must respond do for the rest of their campaign with the prospect of them having to win all their six remaining games to qualify for the semi-finals staring at their face.

WINDIES REELING FROM AUSSIE SETBACK

In contrast to South Africa, Windies’ World Cup campaign had started with a bang with Jason Holder and his men thrashing Pakistan comprehensively by 10 wickets to make a huge statement.

That win, coupled with their recent ODI displays, had seen many pundits and former players pegging the Caribbean side as the dark horses for the World Cup. However, the manner in which they went down to defending champions Australia in a 15-run defeat has exposed some holes.

Windies had the five-time champions on the ropes at several points of that clash, but squandered every opportunity to seal the win through some rash decisions. While they have every right to feel aggrieved about some of the umpiring decisions in the loss, Holder’s men need to show that they can mix tact to go with their explosive batting firepower.

With the likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Shimron Hetmyer, Windies can take any bowling attack apart on their day as they showed by scoring 421 against New Zealand in the warm-ups. However, they will need to ensure that days such as the defeat to the Aussies are few and far in between if they are to make a fist of it at the World Cup.

PROTEAS DOMINATE HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

While recent results have been dismal for them, South Africa do enjoy a formidable head-to-head record against the Caribbean side. The Proteas have been victorious in 44 of the 61 ODIs played between the two sides with Windies winning only 15 of them.

The last ODI meeting between the two sides, however, came all the way back in 2016 when West Indies beat South Africa at Barbados by 100 runs in a tri-nations series league match.

The record is more balanced when it comes to World Cup with both sides winning two matches apiece in four previous clashes.

LIKELY XIs

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder (c), Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.

South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, JP Duminy, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Beuran Hendricks.

Know more about Sport360 Application

Recommended

Most popular