SA vs WI, 1st T20I preview: Focus on Markram, Powell
Following an evenly contested ODI series, South Africa and West Indies will square off in a three-match T20I series. The first T20I will be played on 25th March at the SuperSport Park Stadium, commonly known as the Centurion. WI will look to improve on their bowling from the 3rd ODI to have any chance against a very well-balanced SA side. Here's the preview
Pitch report, timing, and broadcast details
The Centurion pitch remains conducive for batting in white-ball formats. However, pacers with the new ball will get some help. 172 is the average T20I score batting first. In 14 T20Is at this venue, teams batting first have won eight times. The match will be live on the Star Sports Network whereas, it will be live-streamed on FanCode (paid subscription) from 5:30 PM IST.
Here's the head-to-head record
The two teams have played each other in 16 T20Is to date. Out of which the Proteas have the upper hand with 10 wins. Meanwhile, WI have won six times. In 6 T20Is in Soth Africa, both teams have registered three wins apiece. SA won the last meeting against WI by 8 wickets in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
A daunting challenge for WI
WI will be led by their new skipper, Rovman Powell, who has succeeded Nicholas Pooran in T20Is. They have a dynamic team with several game-changers like Kyle Mayers, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, and Akeal Hosein. Aiden Markram will lead SA for the first time. With Markram being selected as Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper for IPL 2023, this series will mean business.
A look at the Probable XIs
South Africa Probable XI: Aiden Markram(C), David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Rilee Rossouw, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Bjorn Fortuin, Tabraiz Shamsi. West Indies Probable XI: Rovman Powell(C), Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Romario Shepherd, Nicholas Pooran, Johnson Charles, Alzarri Joseph, Akeal Hosein, Yannic Cariah, Sheldon Cottrell.
Here's a look at the key performers
Markram (879) may complete 1,000 T20I runs in this series and become the ninth SA batter to reach the landmark. Pooran (1,427) can become the only fifth WI batter to score 1,500 runs in T20Is. Powell (890) may also get to the 1,000 T20I runs landmark. Holder (51 scalps) needs four more wickets to surpass Samuel Badree to become WI's second-highest wicket-taker in T20Is.
Dream11 Fantasy Cricket picks
Fantasy option 1: Nicholas Pooran, Quinton de Kock, Kyle Mayers (vc), Aiden Markram (c), Jason Holder, Anrich Nortje, Alzarri Joseph, Kagiso Rabada, Brandon King, Rilee Rossouw, Rovman Powell. Fantasy option 2: Nicholas Pooran, Quinton de Kock, Kyle Mayers, Aiden Markram, Jason Holder (vc), Anrich Nortje (c), Alzarri Joseph, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Heinrich Klaasen, Rovman Powell.