Both teams need to respond in Tuesday morning's clash following opening defeats at the T20 World Cup but Matt Harris is expecting Quinton De Kock to take South Africa home.
"Much will depend on Quinton de Kock getting his side off to a fast start. David Miller can boost the total in the death overs but, when he’s coming in at six, it may be too late."
South Africa v West Indies
Tuesday, October 26th, 11:00 BST
TV: Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Stuttering South Africa
It's maybe a little lazy to look back at South African sides of the recent past when identifying issues within the current squad. However, it was always going to be tough to replace Faf Du Plessis, AB De Villiers and Dale Steyn. With two of those three actively playing T20 cricket, the debate over their absence won't go away just yet.
Without Faf and AB, there isn't enough balance in that top order. We saw in the warm- up games that Rassie Van Der Dussen can lift the tempo but there's too many accumulators and not enough power hitters in the XI.
Much will depend on Quinton de Kock getting his side off to a fast start. David Miller can boost the total in the death overs but, when he's coming in at six, it may be too late.
Woeful West Indies
Go hard at the ball without fear of criticism is a modern mantra in T20 cricket but West Indies took that to another level against England on Saturday. Their total of 55 was built around poor shot selection with wickets gifted to Adil Rashid and the rest of the England attack.
The Windies are always capable of this and it's difficult to get behind them with any confidence. The few positives came in the second half when Kieron Pollard's side briefly made England work for their runs. Pollard may ultimately be grateful that Akeal Hosein has come in for the injured Fabian Allen as the left arm spinner impressed during his four overs.
It goes without saying that the batting department is the area in which the West Indies need to improve.
Clearly, West Indies are better than their opening display but their array of explosive batsmen need to take into account the extended dimensions of this ground. This isn't Sharjah with it's playground boundaries and both sides will need to take more care with their shot selection.
The average first innings score of 55 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium will improve and this was one of the highest scoring grounds at the recent IPL. The second half of that tournament showed that 165 is around the total to aim at for the side taking first knock.
It's fairly close in the result betting with West Indies leading the way at 1.9310/11 followed by South Africa at 2.0421/20.
Both teams lost their opening games in similar fashion, posting low totals before responding, to some extent with the ball. This is a tougher call than, say, India v Namibia, and much could depend on the toss with the first four Super 12 games going to the chasing side.
I may keep my money firmly in my pockets until that coin lands but, ahead of the toss, I'm slightly favouring South Africa. Even though they are the most successful team in the history of this tournament, West Indies have a tendency to start slowly.
They are also capable of failing to learn lessons from Saturday's defeat. It's an extremely tight call but the key lies with South Africa's potent bowling attack versus a struggling Windies batting unit so I'll take the outsiders this time.
While he may be feeling the pressure of responsibility at the top of the order, the class of Quinton De Kock means that he will return top batsman profits on a regular basis. He will start as the favourite, QDK should be reasonably priced at around 3.412/5.
He's due a big score but there are alternatives: Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markram will be listed at around 5.04/1 while Rassie Van Der Dussen, who made 101 from 51 balls in the warm ups, could be exceptional value at 6.05/1 or higher.
I mentioned that South Africa's bowling unit will be pivotal in this game and there are some interesting odds in their top bowler market. Over at the sportsbook, the pace of Kagiso Rabada sees him installed as favourite at 5/2 but I'd be looking at spin to succeed on these surfaces.
Tabraiz Shamsi at 3/1 looks a more generous option here. I'll stay with the two tips for this one but Shamsi is a solid choice as a potential third selection.
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