Whatever else the West Indians can or can’t do, they can certainly play T20.
They have a glttering line-up of IPL-hardened slammers, some accurate medium pacers and Sulieman Benn’s spin to complement them.
Add to that the fact that four of them played in the recent T20 domestic series, some with notable success, and so are acclimatised to the conditions and the pace of the wicket, starting with Newlands on Friday (6pm SAST).
Darren Sammy brought stability as the captain of the Titans, while Chris Gayle scored 257 runs at 36.71 for the Highveld Lions, despite missing some action due to a frustrating lower-back strain. Kieron Pollard smashed 243 runs at an average of 81 and captured 14 wickets. and Andre Russell hammered 182 runs at a strike-rate of 200 and finished with 13 wickets.
If the team is in harmony, and the big hitters such as Gayle in form, fit and willing, they will take some stopping.
It is fair to say the Poteas are inconsistent, but they are moulding a unit that is greater than the sum of its parts. They haven’t won a series since beating Pakistan in the UAE in November 2013. But then they squandered the initiative by drawing 1-1 Pakistan at home immediately afterwards. But it is worth remembering they did reach the semifinal of the World T20 in Bangladesh in April.
Still, they will need to clinical and accurate against a rampant Windies, who have something to prove after losing the Test series.
The second T20 is in Johannesburg on Sunday (3pm SAST) and the third in Durban on Wednesday (6p SAST).
South Africa T20 squad; Faf du Plessis (c), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Marchant de Lange, JP Duminy, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabadas, Rillee Rossouw, Morne van Wyk, David Wiese
West Indies T20 squad: Darren Sammy (c), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith