Chance for Proteas to regroup

They may not have spent much time together over the last three months, in fact many were on opposite sides during the Indian Premier League.

But the important thing to take in is that 11 of the 15 players in the Proteas squad haven’t had a chance to pick up any off-season rust given their duties in the lucrative short format tournament.

Their participation in the triangular series begins today when they meet the hosts in Guyana. Australia play the hosts on Sunday before taking on the Proteas for the first time in the series on Tuesday.

“It’s good to connect with the boys again. We’ve been away from each other for so long. The mood is good. It’s always good to be back with the Proteas,” Chris Morris said ahead of the first showdown.

The Proteas will head into today’s clash as the favourites given the difference in rankings between the two sides. The fact that the West Indies are arguably the most inconsistent team in world cricket is another factor.

But Morris and his Proteas teammates aren’t taking any chances.

“They’re a very dangerous team in all formats. They’ve got match-winners from start to end. We’re going to have to be at our best to beat these guys. When it comes to playing in the West Indies they’re a very passionate unit. It’s in their home conditions, they obviously know it better than we do,” the all-rounder said.

On paper it would appear that the Proteas hold the edge over the opposition when it comes to their batting unit with Hashim Amla no doubt licking his lips in anticipation given that this is the team that he averages most against.

In 12 limited overs innings against the Caribbean outfit, Amla has amassed 917 runs at an average of 91.70 with four centuries.

The same can be said for captain AB de Villiers who averages a touch over 76 against the same opposition. The last time De Villiers faced a West Indies attack he flayed an unbeaten 162 off 66 balls at the World Cup last year.

The only real problem the Proteas may have is adjusting to conditions, especially considering that a number of squad members are touring there for the first time, but Morris has a simple solution.

“The nice thing about cricket is that you have to learn to adjust quickly, the sooner you do that the better.”

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