Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia (AFP) — West Indies begin a two-Take a look at contest in opposition to South Africa in the present day with the house facet believing they’ve their finest likelihood in 30 years of overcoming the unsettled guests in a collection on the Daren Sammy Cricket Floor in St Lucia.
Kraigg Brathwaite’s crew are unbeaten of their final 4 Assessments — a 2-0 triumph in Bangladesh and drawn matches at residence to Sri Lanka.
They go into the marketing campaign ranked simply forward of a Proteas crew reeling from successive heavy defeats in two Assessments in Pakistan.
In addition they have senior opening batsman Dean Elgar put in as Take a look at captain following the retirement of Faf du Plessis from the standard format.
West Indies suffered a setback main into the opening Take a look at when their quickest bowler, Shannon Gabriel, was dominated out by harm.
It opens the prospect of 19-year-old pacer Jayden Seales making a Take a look at debut though his lack of expertise — he has performed only one first-class match — may see the selectors choosing Alzarri Joseph.
Brathwaite, Joseph and senior seamer Kemar Roach have all benefited from stints on the English county circuit following the top of the Sri Lanka collection.
It stays to be seen if the West Indies captain can have Kieran Powell or Shai Hope as his associate on the prime of the batting order.
Hope signalled his readiness for a return to the Take a look at fold with a half-century adopted by 100 within the four-day intra-squad warm-up match on the Take a look at venue.
Nevertheless, Powell, who scored a second innings 95 in organising his crew’s victory in that encounter, provides the variation of a left-hander in his personal quest for a Take a look at comeback.
South Africa, who’re enjoying their first Take a look at collection within the Caribbean since 2010, look set to offer Keegan Petersen a debut within the center order as a straight substitute for the departed du Plessis.
Their batting will rely closely on the expertise of Elgar and Aiden Markram on the prime of the order with wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma being counted on to additionally produce runs.
Either side acknowledge that bowling is their robust go well with going into the collection.
South African hopes for efficient firepower will relaxation closely on the shoulders of Kagiso Rabada with assist from Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi.
South Africa’s expectation of slower pitches than for his or her earlier visits suggests although that they may preserve their choices open so far as extra spinning assist for knowledgeable orthodox left-armer Keshav Maharaj.
“It could be nice for this crew to get within the behavior of eking out Take a look at match victories,” stated West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons in looking forward to the collection.
A member of the facet which pulled off a sensational come-from-behind victory within the first-ever Take a look at encounter between the 2 groups in Barbados in 1992, he would not learn a lot into his crew being ranked one spot forward of the seventh-placed South Africans.
“Clearly we wish to get nearer to primary, however we simply need to preserve enjoying our greatest cricket and let the rating maintain itself,” he defined.
For Charl Langeveldt, South Africa’s bowling coach, preparation is vital for the vacationers to emerge from the trough.
“It is also encouraging for our quicker bowlers to see the quantity of help they’re getting in these humid circumstances with the Dukes ball, after we would have performed with the Kookaburra model on earlier excursions of the West Indies,” he stated.
Following the 2 Assessments, the groups will meet in a five-match T20 Worldwide collection in neighbouring Grenada because the countdown to the World T20 later this yr intensifies.
Groups (possible): West Indies – Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Shai Hope, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Joshua da Silva (wicketkeeper), Rahkeem Cornwall, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach.
South Africa – Dean Elgar (captain), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Keegan Petersen, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi.
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