The selectors cannot go outside of the 15 players that travelled to Australia – unless someone is ruled out of the tournament injured – which means that the starting XI in Sydney have to come from the following 14 (in alphabetical order): Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Morné Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir.
Gary Lemke: In with Rossouw
Chris Gayle will be the big fish, but more often than not he has failed after scoring an ODI hundred, so here’s hoping the trend continues. The Proteas must accept No7 has been a problem and look to their batsmen to post, or chase down, a winning target. I would gamble with seven batsmen and four bowlers and use JP Duminy and AB de Villiers to help contribute with the ball as well, should one of the frontliners take some ‘tap’. South Africa’s batsmen have no fear of the Windies attack, so it seems obvious to go big again.
Gary’s team in batting order: Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, David Miller, JP Duminy, Rilee Rossouw, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn, Morné Morkel, Imran Tahir.
Kobus Pretorius: In with Abbott, Rossouw, out with De Kock
Kyle Abbott should replace Vernon Philander, but I would keep Wayne Parnell. Dropping him now would shatter his remaining confidence, which won’t help if we need to call on him later in the tournament. Quinton de Kock has just come back from injury and is struggling. He can always regain his form against one of the smaller teams. I would replace him with Rilee Rossouw, who had an excellent series against the West Indies in South Africa. He should open the batting with Hashim Amla, with AB taking the big gloves.
Kobus’ team in batting order: Rilee Rossouw, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, David Miller, JP Duminy, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott, Morné Morkel, Imran Tahir.
Mark Salter: Abbott in for Philander
It hasn’t been a great showing by the Proteas in any department, but it is still early. The top six have the potential and the pedigree, and they will come right. De Kock has had extra time to adjust, too. The West Indies bowling is not the most fearsome around. The worrying area for South Africa is the bowling, and the West Indies boast some cavalier batsmen. Yes, it is a risk keeping Parnell in the side, but he will have learnt a salutary lesson from his last showing. Dale Steyn has yet to find the perfect rhythm and Morkel went for runs in the early stage of the India innings. So the weighting towards the bowling will give AB room to manoeuvre.
Mark’s batting order: Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, David Miller, JP Duminy, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir