CENTURION, South Africa, (CMC) – West Indies will hope to salvage something from the tour of South Africa when they face the hosts in the opening Twenty20 International of the three-match series on Saturday.
The Caribbean side were swept aside 2-0 in the two-Test series and drew the three-match One-Day International 1-1 after the opening game was rained off.
Rovman Powell, the newly appointed T20I skipper, said the squad was “in a good space” and were optimistic of a positive result in the series.
“I think we are very, very prepared. The guys are in a very good space,” Powell told the media on Friday ahead of the contest at Supersport Park.
“We have a training session today and we have spent some time over the last few days just trying to get things right, so from that standpoint the guys are in a very good space.”
“Everyone in the squad is available for selection and raring to go. As a selection group, we will meet later today into tomorrow just to finalise the final XI or the final 13 we will use for this game but everyone is available and ready to go,” he continued.
Several players, who featured in the ODI series, have made the crossover to the T20 side. They include the likes of all-rounders Kyle Mayers and Jason Holder, batsmen Brandon King and Shamarh Brooks and fast bowler Alzarri Joseph.
Mayers, Holder and Joseph were also members of the Test squad, and Powell said their knowledge of conditions will be critical especially for those players only in South Africa for the T20 phase of the tour.
“Guys that have been on the whole tour it is important for them to feed us with information – guys who haven’t been on the whole tour,” Powell explained.
“It’s now for us guys who have been here for the shorter period just to adjust and adjust fast. It’s good that the conditions here aren’t a lot different from the Caribbean – the wickets are generally good, good for cricket. Hopefully we can bring our skills to all three games,” he added.
West Indies have had mixed results against the Proteas in recent years, losing their last series in the Caribbean 3-2 but winning 2-1 in a three-match series here eight years ago.
South Africa, who will be led by new captain Aiden Markram, will boast the likes of big-hitting left-handers Quinton de Kock and David Miller, along with the dangerous pace trio of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi.
And Powell said West Indies were in the process of fine-tuning their plans as they looked to stop South Africa’s juggernaut.
“Guys are now coming up with plans for different players,” Powell said.
“I can’t sit here and say what are the exact plans but definitely as a team we have to prepare and I think over the last few days we have done some good preparation,” added Powell.
The game bowls off at 2 pm (8:00am Eastern Caribbean time).