When South Africa were installed as the underdogs at the start of the T20I series, no one would have thought that they’d be in a position to eye a T20I series victory with a game to spare. Yet, ahead of Thursday night’s penultimate game, the Proteas are in just that position, flying high and just one win away from doing a Test and T20I double against a star-studded Windies side.
That said, South Africa still have their problems. Their middle order still seems a batsman short, while the bowling unit, too, can do some more options. An easy fix is to replace one or two specialists with allrounders but it seems that for now South Africa won’t fix what isn’t broken.
If the Africans win tonight, it will snap a winless spree of seven series. Quite how they haven’t won a T20I series since September 2019, we’d still never know.
This being the World Cup year, the West Indies had thought that recalling all their superstars would be the best move to get them back together. That move has yet to payoff, with the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo not having the impact the Windies selectors had expected from them. Bravo, in his defence, has bowled well but none of the Big 4 have exploded with the bat.
The silver lining is that their no-show has left space for youngsters such as Obed McCoy and Kevin Sinclair and Fabian Allen to showcase their potential. Now, the Windies have a blend of in-form youth and misfiring veterans. Once the latter get back up on their feet, the Windies would become even more formidable.
McCoy, in particular, has been excellent and already looks certain to be on the India-bound flight later this year.
Pollard tweaked the starting eleven and shuffled the batting order a bit in the 3rd T20I defeat but it is expected that normal service might resume in tonight’s clash. That could mean Gayle being reinstated in the playing eleven.