South Africa stuck to their winning XI in what AB de Villiers called “the most important game” of the ongoing series against West Indies, who opted to bat in the third ODI. Victory would see the hosts claim the series and give them confidence their World Cup squad is on the right track.
If they manage that, they will have to do it chasing after Jason Holder decided West Indies would post a total on a dry, slow wicket at Buffalo Park. Although de Villiers also wanted to bat first, the opposite has been South Africa’s Achilles’ heel in major tournaments which will allow them to tick a box by sealing the series here.
West Indies hope to prevent that through a bolstered batting line-up. Leon Johnson, who struggled at No. 3, was replaced by Narsingh Deonarine, even though he is not in their World Cup squad. Deonarine traveled to South Africa to join the Test squad late last year and the constant delays in his arrangement meant that he stayed on for the limited-overs’ rubbers as well.
West Indies’ other change may strike as a surprise. Former captain Darren Sammy was benched in favour of Carlos Brathwaite, who also is not part of the World Cup XV. Whether he gets to bowl will depend on the weather. The afternoon started cloudy and rain is forecast for later on.
South Africa 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Rilee Rossouw, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt, wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Farhaan Behardien, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir
West Indies 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Dwayne Smith, 3 Narsingh Deonarine, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 6 Jonathan Carter, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Carlos Brathwaite, 9 Jason Holder (capt), 10 Jerome Taylor, 11 Sulieman Benn