SYDNEY: South Africa captain AB de Villiers won the toss and opted to send his much changed side in to bat in their World Cup Pool B match against West Indies at a sun-bathed Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
The Proteas are out to kickstart their campaign after a 130-run loss to India in their last outing, while West Indies come into the contest with confidence high after their record-breaking victory over Zimbabwe.
South Africa paceman Vernon Philander strained his left hamstring against India last weekend and was replaced by Kyle Abbott.
JP Duminy was also replaced by Rilee Rossouw in the middle order and all-rounder Wayne Parnell, whose bowling was punished by the Indians, by Farhaan Behardien.
“We’re going to have a bat first today… Hopefully get some good runs behind us and put the Windies under some pressure,” De Villiers said.
West Indies were able to recall Sulieman Benn in place of Nikita Miller after the tall spinner recovered from a back problem.
Top order batsman Darren Bravo is still struggling with a hamstring injury that might yet see him sent home from the tournament, however, and Jonathan Carter retains his place in the side.
More importantly, though, Chris Gayle was in the side despite a back problem and looking to maintain his form after his record knock of 215 against Zimbabwe on Tuesday.
“It’s a good wicket. I’m also excited to be bowling first,” Holder said.
South Africa will need to be careful of their over rate or risk losing skipper De Villiers for a match after being fined for falling short of their allowance against India.
South Africa – Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, AB de Villiers (captain), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Kyle Abbott, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir
West Indies – Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Lendl Simmons, Jonathan Carter, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Jason Holder (captain), Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn