“West Indies are a dangerous side on all fronts, whether with the ball or bat” – Bjorn Fortuin says Spin has role to play in Windies series

South African all-rounder Bjorn Fortuin believes spin will play a pivotal role in their two day-night ODI matches against the West Indies at Buffalo Park in East London on Thursday and Saturday.

The squad assembled in East London on Monday to prepare for what will be their first ODI in the coastal city since Bangladesh toured in 2017.

After a successful 2-0 Test campaign with the red ball against the same opposition, South Africa will be after more of the same in the shorter format.

With the Buffalo Park surface playing low and slow in the triangular women’s series between SA, West Indies and India in February, left-arm spinner Fortuin, who has played three ODIs, said spin is going to be a major factor this week.

“The boys are coming off a successful Test series,” the 28-year-old said at the venue on Tuesday.

“We will be looking to build some momentum going into the Ireland series. We have not played many matches at Buffalo Park in the past few years. The pitch has a reputation of being slow, and spin will have a role to play. We will see on the day and adapt accordingly,” he said.

Fortuin said they are wary of the challenge the West Indies side poses in the shorter formats despite beating them in the longer game.

“They are a dangerous side on all fronts, whether it is with the ball or bat. We know they are supreme athletes on the field.

“We are going to need to be at our best in all three aspects of the game to beat them and that is what we are working towards.

“With [new white ball coach] Rob [Walter] coming in it will be fresh faces, fresh ideas and not a lot of baggage from the past. We will look for the positive results and not dwell on the negatives,” he said.

On Monday, all-rounder Wayne Parnell came in as a replacement for injured Wiaan Mulder. Tabraiz Shamsi was added to the squad to replace Keshav Maharaj, who has a ruptured Achilles.,

Fortuin touched on the effect the experienced Maharaj has in their bowling attack and how he will be missed, especially at Buffalo Park.

“He is a massive loss, never mind his natural ability with the ball and bat. He has loads of experience and leadership qualities. Besides his cricket expertise, those are the things that will be sorely missed,” he said.

The squads for the first two matches.

South Africa: Temba Bavuma (capt), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, 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 (capt), 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.

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