SA captain du Plessis

Arnold Nichols
June 14, 2019

At Southampton, West Indies won the toss and chose to bowl against South Africa.

South Africa must win their final five matches to qualify from the round robin group stage however, with clashes again Afghanistan, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia still to come. "But it is stuff like that, generally, that can give you direction in your team and give you objective to focus on what lies ahead", he added. So it's those moments of mental weakness when they just get out.

Du Plessis felt it was too late to change the team following AB De Villiers suggestion to come out of retirement.

"The squad was already picked". The selectors just announced the team on next day without De Villiers.

Darren Bravo comes in for the West Indies to replace injured opener Evin Lewis.

Another washout would likely scupper their hopes.

In his column for the Times of India, former South African captain Graeme Smith wrote, "It's safe to say that South Africa would have had something different in mind when imagining how their World Cup would take shape".

"We don't deserve to be anywhere close to the top of the log. That happens. Next time we are in that position, we will make better decisions".

"We have been playing great cricket, it does not matter who we play right now". It is just performance-wise, we haven't put in the performances we need. He said de Villiers made the request to him on a phone call when both of them were in India playing in the recent IPL.

"The guys are still enjoying being on tour, enjoying being here".

"We would have probably been happy with that (three points from three games) at the start of the tournament".

"So that's a testament to our culture. If you get that going, then other players can feed off their confidence".

"So it's the performances and the skill side of cricket that needs to take over".

But before rain arrived, West Indies had the Proteas in early trouble as fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell's 2 wickets reduced them to 29/2 in the 8th over. The West Indies began with a handsome victory over Pakistan before losing to Australia.

And Windies head coach Reifer insists his batsmen - led by the titanic Chris Gayle - will not shy away from Archer's 90mph thunderbolts and attack him from the off in one of the most highly-anticipated matches of the tournament. "You relax, you're think you're in when you've got 30 or 40 and you try and play too aggressively, when you just need more hunger to try and make the most of your start", Benkenstein said.

But in the end, du Plessis was pleased he did not have to play in a shortened game, which would have favoured West Indies.

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