Chris Gayle, Jason Holder and Andre Russell are three players who pose significant threats to the Proteas as the West Indies prepare to take on South Africa at the Rose Bowl on Monday.
He is nicknamed the ‘Universe Boss’ for a reason. Gayle is a devastating batsman who at 39 years old made himself available for the West Indies for his final go at a World Cup trophy. He has yet to show his true ability in the opening two matches but has a nack to either score big or not at all against South Africa. He has three 100s against the Proteas, and one half-century but only averages 30.78. He will be familiar with Imran Tahir, Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris because of the IPL, which could give him the edge against them. If he gets his eye in, he can be unstoppable.
The West Indies skipper is the bedrock of the side. He is a player who has improved drastically with the responsibility of being captain and leads by example. He played 21 games without the armband with an average of 13.62 with no half-centuries to his name. In his time as skipper, he played 76 games and averages 28.6 with a high score of 99 not out which is included in his nine half-centuries. As a bowler, he took 11 wickets in 21 matches without the captaincy but has taken 32 wickets with the armband. He also has World Cup experience. In the 2015 World Cup, he averaged 51.66 in seven games and took nine wickets in the tournament. He was also one of the West Indies’ best players in their narrow defeat to Australia.
The all-rounder, despite 31, hasn’t played many ODIs for his country but has proven to be an x-factor player in T20 competitions around the world. He comes into the World Cup with incredible form, after scoring 510 runs in 15 matches and taking 11 wickets. Similarly to Gayle, Russell can take a game away from the opposition in an instant and will punish anything short and wide. Both batsmen only know one way and that’s to attack, so the Proteas must make sure they do not fluff their lines.