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Fantasy Preview: Go with a full-on pace attack

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Last updated on 27 Feb 2023 | 12:33 PM
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Fantasy Preview: Go with a full-on pace attack

Here are a few tips that could help you create your fantasy XI for the first Test between South Africa and West Indies

West Indies will set foot in South Africa for a Test series after eight years. The last Test they played in this country was back in January 2015. Playing here, West Indies haven’t had a great record. In 15 Tests, they have won only one and have lost 12.

On the other hand, South Africa’s last few Tests haven’t gone the way they wanted. After winning six out of the first eight Tests in this WTC cycle 2021-23, they have lost four out of their last five. With those losses, they are now out of the WTC Final contention.

Overall, South Africa have an overwhelming record against the West Indies. In 30 matches, they have won 20 and lost only three. The remaining seven have ended as a draw.

Ground details

In the last match, against India, the SuperSport park served a green top. India in their first innings evaded the early threat and went on to score 327 in the first innings. It has been the case in Centurion since 2018.

From the second session, it gets better to bat, on day one as well as day two. In Tests since 2018, teams batting first have scored 305 runs on an average and 306 in the second innings. In the aforementioned time, SuperSport is the only venue where the average score is above 300 in the second innings.

In the first session of day one and two, batting teams have scored 79.8 and 77.5 runs on an average. However, in the second session, the average score shoots up to 93.6 and 93.8.

In the last five Tests, that is since 2018, pacers have bagged 91.5 percent of the wickets, and they have bowled 81.3 percent of the overs. In a venue where pacers have bowled in 10+ innings in this time frame, only in Cape Town (93.5%), Christchurch (93.4%) and at Lords (92.9%), pacers have a higher percentage of wickets than Centurion.

Suggested team

While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.

Captaincy Suggestion

For small league: Anrich Nortje (capt), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-capt)

For grand league: Marco Jansen (capt), Kyle Mayers (vice-capt)

Stats that matter

-In Tests since 2022, only two South Africa’s top order batters (1-7) have hit centuries. Among teams who have played three or more matches, they are the only team to have hit less than five 100s.

-Despite their loss against India in the previous match in Centurion, South Africa have superb record. In 27 matches at this venue, they have lost only three, and have won 21. They have a win percentage of 77.7 percent, the best for a team at a venue where they have played 10+ matches.

-In Tests since 2021, Anrich Nortje has bagged 42 wickets at a bowling average of 23.4, and a strike rate of 39.1. In the aforementioned time, among bowlers who have picked up 20+ wickets, his bowling strike rate is the second best.

Grand league punts

­-Marco Jansen has played only one series in home conditions, and that came against India in 2021/22. In that series, he bagged 19 wickets at an average of 16.5, and strike rate of 32.6. Apart from his first innings, he has a three wicket-haul in each of the other five.

-Kyle Mayers has 27 wickets to his name and has scored 895 runs in his Test career. His 27 wickets have come at an average of 19.3, and a strike rate of 48.4. Among bowlers who have picked up 20+ wickets since 2021, his average is the fourth best. Adding to that, he has scored runs at an average of 35.8. Batting in away matches, he has an average of 42.2 in 13 innings.

Here are the top 10 criclytics projection

Probable XI

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma (c) Ryan Rickelton/Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Wiaan Mulder, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada

West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Raymon Reifer, Jermaine Blackwood, Kyle Mayers, Roston Chase, Joshua da Silva (wk), Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel

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