Going into the opening Test, no one expected the West Indies to do anything but lose and lose big. But at the same time, few expect the hosts to roll over the way they did, especially after their bowlers did reasonably well on the only chance to bowl they got.
Kemar Roach, Jason Holder and teenage pacer Jayden Seales, on debut, took nine wickets between themselves and had South Africa reeling at 162-5 at one point before Quinton de Kock’s unbeaten 141 swelled up the Proteas score to 322.
But the damage was done earlier, when the West Indies, having opted to bat first, got bundled out for a paltry 97. Following the Africans’ 1st and only innings, the hosts again struggled with the bat, scoring a slightly better total of 162 as they lost by an innings and 63 runs.
Can they be expected to do any better? That’s highly unlikely as despite a decent pace attack, the Windies batting just does not have anything tangible in it. Changes could be made but it does not matter who comes in and who goes out as the Caribbean side will be overmatched against any version of South African line-up.
South Africa won the opening Test at a canter despite not even being at their total best with the bat. Captain Deal Elgar was out for a duck in the very first over of the innings and there were several other failures but the chasm in class of both the sides meant that the visitors still managed enough runs to secure a big win.
The three-headed pace attack of Kagiso Rabada, Arnrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi was just too much for the Windies batsmen – most of whom are just misfits for the format and even this level of cricket.
The big question for South Africa is that do they stick with the winning combination or rest some of the regulars and field a few newcomers because the hosts are unlikely to pose any challenge to them.