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South Africa hold clear edge over West Indies

cricket Updated: Feb 24, 2011 13:13 IST

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A consistent South Africa will have a clear edge over the unpredictable West Indies in Thursday's Group B match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

One of the best teams never to have won a World Cup, South Africa's aspirations could be gauged from the fact that they have packed three frontline spinners of different styles for the World Cup in the region where the tweakers thrive most.

At the same time, they have contemporary cricket's deadliest pace pair in Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, one who thrives on pace while the other prefers bounce to torment the batsmen.

"There is always a place for genuine pace. I don't think anybody likes to face people who bowl at 155 kph. If someone tells you they enjoy it, they are lying to you," skipper Graeme Smith said.

They have a formidable line-up with Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla as the batting mainstays.

In contrast, twice champions West Indies lack the depth or variety of their opponents but in Chris Gayle, they have a player who can turn a game on its head on his day.

In Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, they have two experienced batsmen who can bail the team out of a rut but West Indies will have to come up with something special to thwart the South Africans.