With captain AB de Villiers still sporting his club colours in the Indian Premier League final almost 15000km away, the Proteas’ solitary warm-up against the West Indies “A” in Trinidad and Tobago yesterday was always going to be nothing more than simply shaking off the jetlag.
Quinton de Kock was also given an extended rest after his own IPL exertions, leaving the visitors to “borrow” former Windies U/19 wicketkeeper Steven Katwaroo to do duty behind the stumps.
South Africa’s primary objective during warm-up matches on tour in the recent past has primarily been to assess the conditions and it was no different yesterday at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Hashim Amla, who seemed to move seamlessly from his maiden IPL stint with the Kings XI Punjab back to traditional limited-overs cricket, set the platform for South Africa’s eventual total 280/9 with a classy 92 upfront.
Of the transition from T20 cricket, Amla says: “I don’t think it is that big. You just have much more time to set the game up.
“You do have to remind yourself sometimes. I actually think it’s a lot easier moving from T20 cricket to ODIs.”
Amla was particularly pleased with the contributions of the middle to lower batsmen too, with the bowlers also getting some recognition after keeping their opponents down to 127/3 in 24 overs with the match ending in a tie because of rain.
The skipper adds: “The seamers bowled exceptionally well. It started raining so they had to deal with a really wet ball which was a challenge, and even then I think they bowled with good pace and direction.”