East London (AFP): South Africa have a new coach and the West Indies a new captain as they start a three-match one-day international series at Buffalo Park in East London on Thursday.
Proteas coach Rob Walter and West Indian captain Shai Hope will both be seeking a winning formula at the beginning of a crucial period for both teams in the lead-up to the Cricket World Cup in India in October and November.
Neither South Africa nor West Indies are guaranteed a place in cricket’s showpiece event as they languish in eighth and nine places on the International Cricket Council’s World Cup Super League.
The top eight teams qualify automatically for the World Cup – the rest will have to survive a qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe in June and July.
South Africa can overtake the West Indies – and both could be trumped by Sri Lanka – as the Super League comes to an end early next month.
The series starting on Thursday will not count towards qualification as it falls outside the Super League programme.
Both teams will be much-changed from the sides that played in a Test series won 2-0 by South Africa.
Only four of the South Africans played in the Tests, including captain Temba Bavuma.
The other three, fast bowler Gerald Coetzee and batsman Tony de Zorzi, who both made their Test debuts in the recent series, and Ryan Rickelton, have yet to play in a one-day international.
Injuries kept out all-rounder Wiaan Mulder and left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who were originally selected.
Walter will take charge for the first time since being appointed last month. He has worked with the South African team as a strength and conditioning coach but has spent the past seven years coaching in New Zealand.
He has made changes in the support staff, including the appointment of former national players JP Duminy and Rory Kleinveldt as batting and bowling coaches.
Hope, 29, was appointed West Indies skipper after Nicholas Pooran resigned from the white-ball leadership after the T20 World Cup last year. Pooran is still part of the squad.
Hope has an impressive one-day record, with an average of 48.95 from 104 one-day internationals. He captained Barbados in the regional 50-overs competition last year.
Roston Chase, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alazarri Joseph and Kyle Mayers played in the Tests.
The first two matches will be played at Buffalo Park, which has not hosted a one-day international since Bangladesh played there in October 2017. Since then there have been two T20 internationals, the most recent against England in February 2020.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (captain), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Tony de Zorzi, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Sisanda Magala, Lungi Ngidi, Ryan Rickelton, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Lizaad Williams, Rassie van der Dussen.
West Indies: Shai Hope (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Yannic Cariah, Keecy Carty, Roston Chase, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith.
16 March, East London (day-night)
18 March, East London (day-night)
21 March, Potchefstroom (day)