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ICC World Cup 2019: Warm-Up Match 5, South Africa vs Windies, Preview – Windies beefed up to kick-start their warm-up campaign against Proteas

Gayle, Russell and Evin Lewis return for the Caribbean side after missing the Tri-series in Ireland.

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Chris Gayle and Oshane Thomas of the West Indies. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images,)

After playing the Tri-series in Ireland, which they lost to Bangladesh in the finals, the Windies are heading into the World Cup with not a lot of confidence. Although there are some star players in their side in likes of Andre Russell, Shai Hope, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer and others, they have proven their talents in the shortest format a little more than the 50-over format.

Their first World Cup preparatory for this edition will be against a very strong South African contingent, who are just about finding a brilliant rhythm to themselves. Some young names in the Proteas side like Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram and Andile Phehlukwayo are promising some bright performances and they definitely are in the driver’s seat for this encounter.

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Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla registered half-centuries in the previous game, so we might see Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy get more time in the middle. The Windies will not be having a slightly different XI to that of the Tri-series and will relish the presence of their stars who missed the series due to IPL.

Playing Combinations

South Africa

Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis showed some class in the first game against Sri Lanka. Aiden Markram got a start but couldn’t capitalize on it and they might go back to their usual opening combination in this game with Markram and Quinton de Kock opening. Rabada bowled just a few overs and Dale Steyn didn’t bowl any, so we can expect some exploits from them. Ngidi and Phehlukwayo have gathered some momentum and they have to build on it.

Squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen.

Windies

Evin Lewis will be back opening the innings with Chris Gayle after winning the IPL with Mumbai Indians. Shai Hope, after such a brilliant performance in the Tri-series, will drop down to the number 3 slot. It’ll be interesting to see how the young guns Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer approach. Andre Russell has been in outstanding form and it is imperative for him to do the job with the ball as well. Oshane Thomas and Kemar Roach need to gather some rhythm quickly.

Squad: Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas.

Focus will be on

David Miller (South Africa)

David Miller has not been scoring a lot of runs for South Africa in recent times, but his experience and ability to dismantle bowling units wasn’t disregarded. He desperately needs some time in the middle after not getting a lot of matches in the IPL for Kings XI Punjab. The Bristol wicket will pose a challenge for the batsmen and it could be great exposure for the 29-year-old if he can get some runs.

Evin Lewis (Windies)

The dashing left-handed batsman has been touted as the next Chris Gayle for some time now, but Evin Lewis has been struggling off-late. After some injuries hampered his growth, he didn’t get to bat at his favoured position in IPL and couldn’t contribute much. He has two games now against two solid bowling attacks to get back into good touch and his form is of paramount importance to Jason Holder.

Head to Head

Matches played – 61 | South Africa won – 44 | Windies won – 15 | No result – 1 | Tied – 1

Broadcasting details

TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

Live Stream – Hotstar.

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