About the Match
South Africa will host West Indies in a 3-match Test series, the first of which is scheduled to start on 17th Dec at Centurion. Both sides will see a few new players joining the test squad and will be eager to showcase their capabilities on this platform. The ground conditions are likely to assist the fast bowlers but the players would be happy to make the best of the weather with their hard-hitting skills and bowling tactics.
Stiaan van Zyl is doing well as No.3 on the Cobras team and is likely to make his test debut; Alviro Petersen, who hasn’t been in form recently, may opening the innings with Dean Elgar while Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla bring their experience and skills to the fore. The young Quinton, who has proved himself time and again, will be an asset in the middle order and can combine with his seniors to build a solid foundation. On the bowling front, they have the speedsters Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Kyle Abbott while Robin Peterson, who has excelled with his spin bowling, will provide variety to the attack along with Elgar and youngsters like Stiaan van Zyl and Temba Bavuma. Kagiso Rabada has been in good nick with the bat and Hashim Amla will definitely use his resources cleverly to leverage the home advantage against the Windies. Overall, the team has gone through many changes in composition and will now be eager to stabilize with a mix of experienced players and fresh talent, who are determined to excel in any form of the game.
They haven’t won a test match on South African soil since 2007 and this will be a good opportunity for them to test the youngsters for their performance; with Dinesh Ramdin, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels in the squad, the team can make use of their combined experience of playing overseas. However the youngsters, most of whom are bowlers, need to be guided carefully and be allowed to explore with their abilities to surprise the hosts. Samuels has a good record here, being the highest run-scorer in their last tour and will need to step up yet again to keep the scoreboard going; Chanderpaul is only 229 runs away from conquering Lara’s record of being the nation’s highest scorer in test cricket and with his performance looks good to achieve it. On the bowling front, they have a good pace attack in Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor and Jason Holder while Suleiman Benn, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood, Leon Johnson and Devon Smith will bring their spin bowling tactics to the table. The team needs to build up confidence and play a special innings to start the series on a positive note.
South Africa is currently reigning on the top of the ICC test rankings being No. 1 while West Indies are at No. 8 position; the visitors are learning to gel as a team and with many new players in the team, it will definitely take some time for them to settle down. The Proteas not only have the home advantage but they have much more experience on their side; South Africa clearly go in as favourites and although West Indies will fight hard to survive, the hosts will win this match hands down.
South Africa, 1.20 @ TitanBet