South Africa and the West Indies will do battle in a two-match Test series, starting with the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion next Tuesday. The Proteas will be looking to get back to winnings ways after their 2-0 series defeat to Australia earlier this year. Lwanele Poswayo looks at the 3 SA Players to Watch for the series.
Many, including myself, were surprised to see Ryan Rickelton excluded from the Test squad for the Australia series. He’s been the most consistent batter in the 4-Day Series for the past few seasons. This season, he’s been in unbelievable form, scoring 365 runs in 3 matches at an average of 121.66.
He recently celebrated his Proteas call-up by scoring a century against the Warriors in the recent round of 4-Day Series fixtures. It was his 15th First Class century, along with 14 half-centuries at an average of 54.87. These are the type of numbers that players should have before being called up to the Test squad and I’m backing Rickelton to have a breakthrough series against the West Indies.
Keegan Petersen’s breakthrough series came early last year against India where he was the leading scorer in the series with 276 runs on difficult wickets and against a strong Indian attack. His performances against India proved that he belonged at the highest level with only injuries and Covid preventing Petersen from kicking on from that series after missing the tours to New Zealand and Australia.
Like Rickelton, he broke into the Proteas side with impressive and consistent performances domestically and will be looking to reannounce himself to the cricketing world in this series.
Gerald Coetzee comes into this series after a fantastic SA20 campaign where he took 16 wickets at 13.52 for JSK. He replaces Lungi Ngidi in the side and will most likely make his Test debut in the first Test. Coetzee was in the squad that toured Australia but was not selected for any of the matches. He’ll be hoping to get a shot against the Windies.
He celebrated his call-up with a brilliant performance, taking a five-for (5/56) against the Dolphins in the 4-Day Series. His First Class numbers aren’t too impressive though, with an average of 30.3 and a strike rate of 53.4 in 16 matches but at his age, there’s a lot of potential and plenty of time to improve those numbers.
He’ll be hoping to take his SA20 form into the Test arena and I believe he’ll cause the Windies’ batters all sorts of problems.