West Indies vs South Africa 4th T20I Preview: Despite muddled batting approach, West Indies tipped to bounce back
After making a couple of changes to their playing XI in the 3rd T20I, West Indies appeared to have lost their mojo.
Changes for both teams
Both South Africa and West Indies made changes to their playing XIs in the third T20. South Africa brought in Aiden Markram in place of Heinrich Klaasen, not only for his batting but to provide themselves with an extra bowling option.
Markram took the ball in the powerplay and though he was expensive, going for 24 runs from his 2 overs, captain Temba Bavuma said at the end of the last match that it was good to have an extra bowling option and that Markram is more than a part timer.
West Indies, on the other hand, made two changes. They brought in Lendl Simmons in place of Andre Fletcher. The former opened the batting alongside Evin Lewis.
Chris Gayle missed out and Shimron Hetmyer replaced him. It seems as if West Indies had decided at the beginning of the series to present chances to certain players. This is why a couple of pre-decided changes were made after the second T20I.
Hetmyer started well with a couple of sixes, but was then dismissed by wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi. Simmons also looked comfortable at the crease during his 22 ball stay in which he made runs at a strike rate of exactly 100, but a some extra bounce from George Linde brought about his downfall.
Windies' muddled batting approach
After going hell for leather in the 1st T20I and losing in an attempt of doing the same in the 2nd T20I, West Indies' approach looked muddled in the third match of the series.
Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons mixed cautious with aggression to begin with. West Indies overhauled their batting order and promoted Jason Holder at number 3 - the first time he batted at this position in T20 Internationals.
Holder and Hetmyer looked good as long as they lasted but miscued a couple of shots which led to their dismissal. Nicholas Pooran was a little stuck at the crease and went for the high-risk option in the penultimate over off Anrich Nortje. Pooran was caught plumb in front of the wickets.
Pollard and Russell falter
Kieron Pollard looked quite uncertain at the beginning of his innings as is the norm and lost his stumps to Kagiso Rabada. Andre Russell did change the momentum of the game in the last few overs, hitting Nortje for back to back sixes but after being dropped by Temba Bavuma, he was caught by Markram at long-on in the same over.
Fabian Allen tried his best but Rabada just proved too good for him with pinpoint yorkers in the last over. Allen did manage to put one into the stands on the last ball of the match but West Indies still fell short by one run.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock got South Africa off to a rollicking start, batting at a strike rate of over 140. He batted on till the 18th over. Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen were the other major contributors for the Proteas.
McCoy, Bravo, Rabada, Nortje and Shamsi shine
Obed McCoy has begun to look very impressive and was West Indies' best bowler on show, picking up 4 wickets from his 4 overs while conceding 22 runs. Dwayne Bravo also bowled brilliantly at the death and picked up 3 wickets while giving away 25 runs.
Anrich Nortje was sensational for South Africa and pulled things back in their favour by conceding just 4 runs and picking up one wicket in the penultimate over. Shamsi recorded his most economical figures in international cricket, giving away just 13 runs and picking up two crucial wickets of Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis.
South Africa have taken a 2-1 lead in the five match series, but given the firepower of West Indies, they will still back themselves to win the series.
Here's a look at the probable playing XIs:
West Indies - Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Fabian Allen, Kevin Sinclair, Obed McCoy
South Africa - Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, George Linde, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
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