Weather interruptions could play an important role in Monday’s World Cup match between South Africa and the West Indies in Southampton, although both camps on Sunday tried to downplay the possible effects of coming on and off the field due to rain.
The forecast for Southampton on Monday shows a 90% chance of rain, with the bulk of that predicted for between 10am and 4pm.
Duckworth/Lewis and the other versions of the rain rule have been very unkind to South Africa at World Cups in the past, so perhaps an abandoned match and their first log point wouldn’t be the worst outcome.
The Proteas are already in the situation where they need favours from some other teams.
“We’ve had small talks about the weather but it’s an uncontrollable, it’s whatever God decides. But we’ve done our analysis, our plans are in place and it’s just about practising those and then executing them on Monday. It’s been a very interesting tournament because a lot has happened off the field and we just need to clear out our heads.
“We’ve had quite a few injury problems which is unfortunate, but we have to work around that because the World Cup is the biggest stage in cricket. We have to deal with what we have, there’s no point complaining,” Kagiso Rabada said on Sunday before the Proteas settled into their last training session before the game.
Rod Estwick, the former Barbados and Transvaal fast bowler who is now the West Indies assistant coach, was similarly inclined to say they could not afford to worry about the weather.
“I played in England for 20 years and that taught me to never worry about the weather, otherwise you end up making bad decisions trying to predict the future. We will put our heads together when we’re in that situation and come up with a game-plan,” Estwick said.
While Lungi Ngidi is running again and did bowl in the nets on Sunday, it was all rather ginger looking and he is probably only at 75% of capacity, making it highly unlikely that he will play on Monday. What South Africa are going to do with their faltering batting line-up is probably the biggest selection question.
Hashim Amla has made just 19 runs in his two innings thus far, while JP Duminy has scored 56 runs in three innings and David Miller has managed to get out twice once well set in the thirties. Given that Aiden Markram has scored 56 runs in two innings and scored 278 runs in four 50-over outings for Hampshire at the same venue in April/May, it would surely be sensible to bring him into the line-up.
But Amla is probably safe, given what high esteem he is held in by the team.
“Hashim is an important figure, he knows that and we know it. We obviously rely on everyone in the squad but maybe we rely on him a little bit more. He has a really sound mind and he’s a very balanced individual, he knows what he has to do. Our job is just to support him and we know he can produce magic for us. He showed good signs in the warm-up games and I know he’s doing everything in his power to make sure he converts on Monday,” Rabada said.