Both these teams were the team to beat at one point in time, but for a while now, both of them have been struggling to find success - especially away from home. Both teams boast plenty of young talent and up-and-coming names, but somehow they just don’t seem to be clicking as much as they are expected to. The West Indies will be looking to climb further away from South Africa in the ICC Test rankings, and South Africa will no doubt want to prevent that for their own selfish needs. Before the sun rises over the beautiful caribbean isles on the all-important first day, let’s take a look at how the teams stand.
Full squad for Test series vs South Africa
Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Jason Holder, Shai Hope (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Jomel Warrican.
West Indies predicted XI for 1st Test vs South Africa
Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales.
West Indies team preview and form
Kraigg Brathwaite will once again be at the wheel after tasting success in Bangladesh and remaining unbeaten against Sri Lanka.
There are some new names up for trial, and it’ll be interesting to see which ones are actually employed by the Caribbean team.
While Jermaine Blackwood is expected to be one of the anchors for the home side, Shai Hope’s return to the Test squad after some fantastic ODI performances will be the most closely watched.
The West Indian bowling lineup remains relatively unimpressive, with no names popping up as de facto strike bowlers.
Over the years, West Indies’ form has been chequered at best, but it has definitely improved since a terrible slump a few years ago.
West Indies key players for 1st Test vs South Africa
Jermaine Blackwood: One of the few consistent players for his team in the format, Blackwood will have to step up once again.
Shai Hope: Hope’s been a model batter in the ODI format, and needs to translate that form into Tests.
Kemar Roach: Once a terrifying presence on the field, Roach might just still have what it takes.
Rahkeem Cornwall: This might be Jomel Warrican, but we believe one of the West Indian spinners will have a good first match.
Full squad for Test series vs West Indies
Dean Elgar (c), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Sarel Erwee, Beuran Hendricks, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Keegan Petersen, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Prenelan Subrayen, Rassie Van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Lizaad Williams.
South Africa predicted XI for 1st Test vs West Indies
Dean Elgar (c), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Beuran Hendricks, George Linde, Aiden Markram, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie Van der Dussen.
South Africa team preview and form
After both Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma failed to show good results as Test captains, the responsibility has now fallen on the shoulders of Dean Elgar.
Elgar himself will look to join hands with Aiden Markram to form the bulk of the attack.
Bavuma and de Kock will both have to perform well in this series, or risk being dropped from the format by Cricket South Africa.
The speedster battery of Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, and Kagiso Rabada will be rampaging into the Windies batsmen, and they may be joined by Marco Jansen.
It’s a testament to just how South Africa was as a Test team that losing 4 of their last 5 series is the worst form they’ve been in over 16 years. Nevertheless, they’ll have to pick themselves up.
South Africa key players for 1st Test vs West Indies
Dean Elgar: Elgar’s performances have impressed lately, and we think they’ll keep coming.
Aiden Markram: Another talent who just needs to maximize his starts.
Anrich Nortje: A reliable fast bowler who has variation and cunning beyond his years.
Kagiso Rabada: Arguably one of the best bowlers of his generation, Rabada must be more consistent in order to cement that reputation.
West Indies vs South Africa head to head
As South Africa regained their Test status after the West Indies began declining, the stats are pretty skewed in their favour - 18 wins to 3 in favour of the Proteas with 7 draws on the side. The two teams haven’t played in over 6 years, and the last time the Men in Maroon took a game off of their upcoming rivals was way back in 2007/08. If you think that’s bad, the only series the West Indies won was all the way back in 1991/92 - before many of our readers were even born.
West Indies vs South Africa 1st Test pitch report and weather conditions
At the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia, bowlers will have more of a hold on things than batters. The pitch offers plenty of movement and will cause the ball to slow down, making it difficult for players to time the ball. However, once they’re set, batters can score. The last couple of days will also see spinners enjoy more movement, so the team winning the toss will want to bat first and get 350+ on the board.
Although the first four days will most likely pass without any rain, there is a high chance of rain early on the morning of the fifth day. Other than that, the only real disruption will come from the strong breeze, which will also get worse on the 5th day. Temperature and humidity should both be within tolerable ranges.
Can the Windies use home advantage to continue their return to form in Tests? Or will the Proteas finally get their act together and start their own resurgence? Find out if our West Indies versus South Africa 1st Test predictions come true starting Thursday!
|WI Top Batsman:|
|SA Top Batsman:|
|WI Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|SA Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|J Blackwood/S Hope/N Bonner (WI), A Markram/D Elgar/G Linde (SA)|
|Players to score a century:|
|J Blackwood/S Hope (WI), A Markram/D Elgar (SA)|