The 50-over format must come as a relief for West Indies, allowing Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul greater time to build their innings, while giving a misfiring top order an opportunity to rediscover lost touch
The two teams began the tour with an aim to resume on a successful note after their exit during the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20. While South Africa have recovered, West Indies have found ways to ensure victory remained elusive. Twice have they floundered chasing gettable scores - and this is virtually the same squad as the one picked for the global tournament that preceded this tour - despite possessing players of experience and those with a style and power valued hugely in the shortest format.
The 50-over version, however, must come as a relief, allowing Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul greater time to build their innings, while giving a misfiring top order, including captain Chris Gayle, an opportunity to rediscover lost touch. On the other hand, West Indies are up against their tormentors on the ODI circuit, having lost their previous six 50-over contests against South Africa in the last three years.
For South Africa, the performances of David Miller and Ryan McLaren were the highlights, and they will watch keenly their transition and development in the longer format, with the 2011 World Cup less than a year away.
Form guide (most recent first)
West Indies: WWWWW (Against Zimbabwe, Canada and Ireland) South Africa: WLLLW
Watch out for...
After a slew of Twenty20 games which gave little time for batsmen to get their eye in, JP Duminy will welcome the extended playing hours, looking to indulge in picking off runs more through placement than power, and starting afresh in a new format following a disappointing run since the start of the year.
"Kieron Pollard, in my opinion, is not a cricketer," said Michael Holding, whose distaste for the Twenty20 format is well known. But those words from a West Indies great must sting an allrounder, who has never quite lived up to his reputation while playing for his national side. A bumper signing during the IPL and the subsequent success in the league left a lot expected from Pollard during the World Twenty20, but he failed to perform. When Gayle called on "individuals" to take more responsibility, Pollard should have been listening.
Andre Fletcher has had little to show with the bat and West Indies, with their already limited options, could be tempted to look to Denesh Ramdin.
Jacques Kallis and Charl Langeveldt are on South Africa's injured list. If Kallis isn't fit for tomorrow's game, Hashim Amla could get a look in.
South Africa (possible): 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Loots Bosman/Jacques Kallis/ Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis/ Hashim Amla, 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 David Miller, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Johan Botha, 8 Ryan McLaren, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Roelof van der Merwe, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
"It's up to the individual. They have to look into themselves and try and redeem themselves as quickly as possible. I can't do it for them." Chris Gayle calls on his batsmen to show more responsibility.
"It was great for us to see a guy come into the side, and play so well under pressure. It was a breath of fresh air to see him walk to the crease, and hit his sixth ball for six, and play his natural game." Graeme Smith on David Miller.