West Indies aiming to rewrite history in clash with South Africa
By Brandon Corlette
The first Test match between West Indies and South Africa is set to bowl off today – Thursday June 10 – from 10:00h local time at the Daren Sammy National Stadium in St Lucia.
History is on the side of the South Africans, their having won three of the last five matches against the Caribbean team, while drawing two.
Favoured with home conditions, a higher ranking than South Africa, and confidence from recent Test series wins, the West Indies would be eager to turn history around and continue to climb upwards in Test cricket.
Both teams are equipped with strong fast-bowling attacks, and on a relatively quick St Lucia pitch, the fast bowlers would be eager to get going.
Speaking on the eve of this Test match, captain Kraigg Brathwaite has said his team would be looking to continue the great things that began in Bangladesh. He also noted that the team is excited for what he describes as a challenging series.
While West Indies have not won a Test series against South Africa since a 1-0 series win in 1991, Brathwaite has said his men would be looking to do the simple things right, and rewrite history.
“The guys are ready to go, and as batsmen and bowlers, we know the job we have to do, so we will give it 100% in the field,” Brathwaite explained.
The West Indies last won a Test against South Africa in 2007/2008.
South Africa captain Dean Elgar hopes to make the team’s training count on match day.
“We are aware of the failures we have had in the past. The one thing that we can control is our preparation. That’s a key foundation to try and give you success in this format. We have prepared very well, and with preparation, there is no guarantee of the outcome. We are very aware of what’s happened in the past, and we are trying to rectify that, bearing in mind that we’ve lost quite a few experienced batters in the past. It’s now time for guys to put their hands up. The opportunities are there for guys now,” Elgar said.
The South Africans, who are in transition phase with some experienced players out of the mix, are equipped with some talented and capable players the likes of captain Elgar, Kagiso Rabada and Quinton De Kock. Elgar and his men will be aiming to turn the tide and register wins, having lost three of their last five Tests.
South Africa squad: Dean Elgar (captain), Temba Bavuma (vice-captain), Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Sarel Erwee, Beuran Hendricks, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Anrich Nortje, Keegan Peterson, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lizaad Williams, Prenelan Subrayen, Marco Jansen.
West Indies squad for first Test reads: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales.
Key stats: South Africa have never lost a Test series in the West Indies. They were defeated in a one-off match on their return to the international game in 1992, but have since won three series in the West Indies, and four at home.
Jermaine Blackwood and Roston Chase need 55 and 131 runs respectively to reach 2000 Test runs.