The T20 fever is back in the Caribbean. After losing the two-match Test series, West Indies will seek redemption in the format in which they tend to excel. As for South Africa, the returns haven’t been as fruitful as they would have thought in recent times. With an eye on the big event in October third week, both teams will look to find the right combination.
In terms of head-to-head, South Africa have the edge over West Indies, beating them in six out of the 10 matches played. However, in the last five encounters, West Indies have won three. An even contest awaits in the first T20I.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Matches – 10 | WI – 4 wins| SA – 6 wins
Last 5 matches: WI – 3 wins | SA – 2 wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms, we have come up with one team.
GROUND AND TEAM COMBINATION
There hasn’t been much T20 action at the National Cricket Stadium, St Georges. Only one T20I match has been played at this venue and four T20s. In the only T20I played in January 2020, over 400 runs were scored. However, in the other four T20s, the highest first innings score has been 161. But, this was seven years ago.
Since 2014, in T20s at National Cricket Stadium, pacers have bowled 59.6 percent of the overs as compared to 40.4 percent by spin. But, when it comes to wickets, pacers have dominated completely by bagging 72.7 percent of the wickets at a strike rate of 17.4 as compared to 27.3 percent at a strike rate of 31.5 by spinners. This gives a clear indication to bank on pacers rather than spinners. Moreover, with the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Lungisani Ngidi on one side and Sheldon Cottrell and Jason Holder on the other. It is certainly safe to pack the bowler’s section with pacers.
Quinton de Kock: The captaincy pressure was on Quinton de Kock and it was evident in the way he batted in the Test series. He scored a century in the first Test and followed it by a 96 in the second after Dean Elgar took off that responsibility from him. In the shortest format, de Kock has scored close to 1000 runs since 2020 at an average of 33.4 and a strike rate of 143.5. More importantly, de Kock’s striking ability in the powerplay is one of the factors he is our team captain. Among batsmen who have faced 400+ balls in this phase since 2020, his strike rate of 151.3 is the second best after Alex Hales (167.7).
Our criclytics player projection predicts, Quinton de Kock could score 26-40 runs in the first T20I
Kieron Pollard: The West Indian skipper has been in scintillating form in recent times. A sensational Sri Lankan series followed by a great IPL 2020, Pollard is undeniably one of our players to watch out for. In T20s since 2020, among batsmen who have faced 400+ balls, his strike rate of 191.6 is the best.
Our criclytics player projection predicts, Kieron Pollard could score 16-24 runs and bag 1-2 wickets in the first T20I
Rassie van der Dussen: Since his debut, Rassie has been one of the most consistent performers for South Africa. In the past two years, Rassie has been the highest scorer for South Africa with 559 runs at an average of 43 and strike rate of 139.4. In the last five T20I innings, Rassie has scored 37, 25*, 74*, 34*, and 52 (recent last). With a purple patch behind he is one of our X-factors.
Our criclytics player projection predicts, R van der Dussen could score 18-26 runs in the first T20I
Tabraiz Shamsi: The left-arm chinaman bowler has had few magic tricks of his own. In T20Is since 2019, Shamsi has been the highest wicket-taker for South Africa with 25 wickets. Especially in 2021, Shamsi has gone wicket-less only once in seven matches. Certainly, a consistency that cannot be denied. Hence, he is one of the x-factors.
Our criclytics player projection predicts, Tabraiz Shamsi could pick 0-1 wicket in the first T20I