Cricket: West Indies vs South Africa
1st Test Match, Saint Lucia
10th June 2021
The first test of what promises to be an enthralling series gets underway as the West Indies host South Africa at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in Saint Lucia. The Windies have endured a mixed year in international cricket but have picked up some decent results along the way, whilst the Proteas have been hardest hit by the COVID 19 pandemic – having only been able to play a handful of games. With only two games in the series, this first match has a huge amount of significance and promises to be well contested.
When it comes to enigmatic sports teams, few fit the bill as the West Indies. The continual changes at administration and captaincy level make it difficult for West Indies to develop any consistency but they look to be building for the future with their team selection here.
Kraigg Brathwaite has been tasked with leading the side moving forward, whilst Jason Holder takes up a squad role – whilst the likes of Shai Hope and Darren Bravo will be looking to put runs on the board from the outset in home conditions.
The bowling department is where the West Indies will be looking to strike and with Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel in their side, they will be looking to give the South African batsmen the hurry up from the outset.
The Proteas are also in the midst of a transitional period in test cricket and are now being led by elder statesman Dean Elgar. Faf du Plessis has stepped away from the longer format of the game, leaving the door open for a new generation of South African players – who will be looking to impress here.
Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markham have all been exposed to top level international cricket and now need to start making scores in the Test arena, to help propel South Africa higher than their 6th placed standing in the ICC Test Rankings.
Quinton de Kock is talismanic with both the bat and the gloves for South Africa whilst the bowling department is buoyed by the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje – with pace looking to be the order of the day for South Africa too.
West Indies vs South Africa 1st Test Match – Best Bets
Few all-rounders in world cricket possess the skill set Jason Holder does and having had the Test captaincy taken away from him, he could be out to prove a point from the off here.
Averaging over 40 in Test match cricket, Aiden Markham is coming of age in a South African shirt, and he looks set to have another big series for the Proteas, potentially starting in his first innings of the 1st Test Match.
In home conditions, there are few better bowlers than Kemar Roach and his devastating pace, combined with unerring accuracy makes him very difficult for opposition batsmen to play.
This series promises to be very tightly contested, with both sides coming into the contest off the back of mixed recent performances. In home conditions, the West Indies have picked up some very creditable results of late and with the majority of their squad back fit and firing, they could pick up a welcome 1st Test Victory here in Saint Lucia.