For some strange reason, West Indies and South Africa have not had a Test series since early 2015. Back then, West Indies had visited South Africa and were hammered in the Three-Test series 2-0. For instances of South Africa visiting West Indies, we’d have to go back even deeper in history when in 2010 the Proteas were the tourists and still won 2-0 in the Caribbean.
Their woeful record makes it a bit clear why the Calypsos don’t play their African counterparts over five days. Let’s make it even worse. West Indies have beaten South Africa in a Test series just once in their entire history. They did it just that once in 1991-92.
Neither side is quite like their former self, especially the West Indies, which has become a powerhouse producer of talent for shorter formats but has deteriorated a lot over the past few decades in the longest format.
That said, West Indies have shown some life in Tests this season but also been their usual rubbish self on some occasions. For instance, they were completely dismantled by New Zealand at the rear end of last year, losing both matches of their two-match series by innings. Then they defeated Bangladesh 2-0 in an away Test series before failing to beat Sri Lanka in a home series, with the contest ending 0-0.
The Caribbean selectors have picked an exciting teenager fast bowler named Jayden Seales for the series. He only has a single first class match under his belt, which means that such an early cap could be a sign of his promise. Shai Hope, Roston Chase, and Kieran Powell are also back in the squad after missing the Sri Lanka series.
As explained above, South Africa have always had an easy time against West Indies in Tests but this South Africa is a lot different than the South Africa of old.
A team in transition, the current Proteas lot can hold its own on home turf but on away tours it can be a bit wobbly. This year, they have played two Test series – once at home against Sri Lanka, which they easily won 2-0 and another away in Pakistan which they ended up losing 2-0.
South Africa’s main problem in the longest format over the past year or so has been their batting, which has produced just three centuries over their last eight Tests and crossed the 300-run mark just twice in their last 15 innings.
The batting needs a fresh injection of talent, and to remedy that, the Africans have drafted in a talented batter named Keegan Petersen, who is expected to make his debut on Thursday.