Windies ready to unleash power hitters Chris Gayle and Co. on the Proteas
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CAPE TOWN – Temba Bavuma’s Proteas have been warned. The West Indies are ready to unleash their heavy artillery in the five-match T20I series starting in Grenada on Saturday evening (8pm SA time).
Not only have they recalled the core of their all-star 2016 World Cup-winning team, but it will also be the first time IPL superstars Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and captain Kieron Pollard have donned the famed maroon jumper collectively in six years.
T20 cricket has undergone a massive transition since then with teams heavily focused on accumulating data on the opposition to influence strategy, but these giants of the shortest format remain committed to their simplistic approach: Hit the ball long and hit it far!
“It’s no secret; our power-hitting ability. Being able to clear the boundaries and use our strength and our power. That’s our strength and we continue to harness our strengths and we continue to work on our weaknesses,” Pollard said.
“In everything that you do, you try to improve and we are trying to improve as a team and as individuals. But we also know, in terms of timings, where you want to work on certain things,” he added.
In contrast, the Proteas are still a fledgling T20 outfit and are still trying to formulate their own unique brand of cricket. They also have a brand new skipper with Bavuma having yet to lead the T20I since being handed the leadership reins back in March.
But with only four months to go before the ICC T20 World Cup in October, Bavuma is keen to see his team put to the test against this power-packed Windies outfit.
“As a team we have had various conversations and discussions and exhausted the type of cricket we want to play. Now we have an opportunity to really test that against a strong and experienced T20 outfit. West Indies are an obvious favourite when it comes to the T20 World Cup,” he said.
“For us, we are probably fortunate to test our skills against their skills and I think it will give us a clearer picture of the guys that will be able to do what is needed to be done come the World Cup. It will be a good test and a good measure to really show us where we stand in terms of our game.”
Squads for the T20 series
PROTEAS: Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Sisanda Magala, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams.
WEST INDIES: Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jnr.