First worth-watching match as SA take on WI

First worth-watching match as SA take on WI

Jhelum : Pakistan | Feb 24, 2011 at 12:24 AM PST
Views: Pending
ICC will not like Delhi to face a ban

South Africa and West Indies are seeking to shed the weight of past foibles and forge new ground in this World Cup. For days now, both camps have been kept busy denying the pressure of expectation. For Graeme Smith's men, it has been a constant attempt to talk down the tag of being nervous wrecks at the crunch.

They seem aware that unless they can win a title now, that tag will be an uncomfortable part of even future South African lineups. For the West Indies, a motley crew led by a young skipper, it is all about breaking free from unjustified comparisons with the great teams of the past.

Their path to redemption begins with the first encounter at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Thursday, on a new surface which hasn't really been tested and might bring all their pluck and application into play. The Kotla too is looking to break free from past imperfections and ensure an even playing field which will restore the ground's dimmed reputation.

Although South Africa go in as favourites and are a more complete and dynamic line-up on paper, the West Indies have, time and again, proven a stumbling block for them in World Cups and other ICC events. Last time around in the subcontinent back in 1996, a sublime Lara and Roger Harper put paid to their campaign in the quarters. At home in 2003, a three-run loss to Carl Hooper's men in the group stage again raised questions about lack of steel.

In that other major event, the Champions Trophy, the Windies have had the last laugh twice. When it hasn't been Australia (2007 World Cup semis and in 1999) or India (2007 World T20) or bizarre rain rules, the West Indies have been SA's bugbear.

Smith is aware the team can do little if one of the game-changers like Chris Gayle has a good day: "I think consistency-wise, they haven't been as good. But they have match-winners and that's why playing them in a one-off game makes them dangerous. They have guys who on their day can really punish you and take the game away. That's why in Cup competitions, they are a very dangerous opponent to come up against."

That said, the South Africans have had the best preparation they could have asked for, a batting lineup to die for, a formidable pace battery and even a trio of spinners with Imran Tahir providing the surprise package. Given the scenario, only tactical mistakes with the playing XI need to be avoided.

WI skipper Darren Sammy, on the other hand, is hoping his team will at least get through to the quarters without embarrassment. His team, which hasn't beaten a top side in almost 18 months, will slip to ninth in the rankings if they lose so it's really all about saving face. Sammy, to many a skipper by default following internal fissures, is hoping the seniors will come to the party. "We just want to see West Indies play like they did in the 1980s. We need to play to our full potential. I would rather have consistency than flamboyance

1 of 3
First worth-watching match as SA take on WI
ICC World Cup2011
lovelypakistan is based in Jhelum, Punjab, Pakistan, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • Time for big boys' battle

      Telegraph India
    There may not have been a perceptible buzz in the capital about the World Cup Group B game featuring South Africa and the West Indies on Thursday, but it is a good wager that if the Caribbean team stick to their promise of playing passionately like...
  • Windies confident of ending losing streak

      Qatar English Daily
    West Indies captain Darren Sammy said his team's miserable 11-match losing streak against South Africa will mean nothing when the sides clash in the World Cup today. The West Indies are on a woeful run of form, having not defeated a Test side in a...
  • Who will blink first -South Africa or West Indies?

      Daily News & Analysis
    It's been eight years since Mark Boucher pumped his fists in a short-lived joy on that fateful day in Durban...Like in Sydney 1992 best remembered for the bizarre rain rule, 22 off one ball Messrs Duckworth and Lewis did play their part to...
  • Can't afford to take anyone for granted: Graeme Smith

      Telegraph India
    South Africa captain Graeme Smith knew whatever else he would have to face at the media briefing before his team's first game in the ICC World Cup 2011, he would be asked about his side having to live with the tag of chokers. “It is a question we...
  • South African spinners made the difference: Darren Sammy

    Sammy said they should have scored close to 270 after being in such a good position till the 40th over of the match. South Africa played with three spinners and the plan worked for them. Debutant leg-spinner Imran Tahir took four wickets while Johan...
  • South Africa Hold Clear Edge Over West Indies

      International Herald Tribune
    A consistent South Africa will have a clear edge over the unpredictable West Indies in Thursday's Group B match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. One of the best teams never to have won a World Cup, South Africa's aspirations could be gauged from the...





More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.