After many years Windies have a long line of international cricket as a part of their summer lined up. Presently it seems to be centered around the T20 World cup coming later in the year. However it is kick started with a short test series against South Africa. They are visiting the Caribbean islands after 11 years. Their last trip was back in 2010.
South African Transition
Among the four series that has been played between these two teams, South Africa have an overwhelming it called where they have one 6 games and lost just 2 games. Five matches have been drawn with no result. Due to this huge gap between the last two tours the entire squad in the South African lineup are going to visit the Caribbean islands for the very first time. Dean Elgar is the new captain appointed by cricket South Africa this will be his first ever series as a captain. hell most definitely he would want to leave strong impression and maintain this winning record against the Windies.
He has already told in the media that he wants the South African brand of cricket what used to be few years ago back up to that same level he wants a higher output from his batsmen as well as his bowlers and this series should be a starting point for him and his men to execute this.
Red hot Roach
Kemar Roach has now become one of the senior most bowlers in the West Indies lineup in the last few years especially in red ball cricket he has completed 12 years on the international scene. The initial couple of years 2009 and 2010 but dynamically amazing for this fast bowler however his performance started to dip from the third year onwards which is clearly indicated in the visual below he has had his ups and downs de load his career on account of injury and form.
However since 2018 onwards he has been in absolutely red hot form especially while playing at home in the West Indies. If we look at very recent form he has been playing county cricket in the UK and has been picking up wickets in plenty hence the Proteas will definitely need to watch out as Roach will be coming hard at them.
Gabriel lost his Groove?
Shannon Gabriel made his debut in 2013. But some of his peak performances only started by the year 2017 onwards while playing at home and some of his best cricket came when he partnered along with Kemar Roach at home to destroy opposition batting lineups . With a much more taller stature he becomes a double threat with additional bounce and moving the ball both ways in any conditions especially being little at home as mentioned earlier.
However the thing to highlight and know is that in the last couple of seasons 2019 and 2021 have been a little lackluster for Gabriel and he has been fairly expensive when it comes to picking wickets. the 2021 test series was sri Lanka was a very high scoring drawn series and that has also led to his numbers going up has a bowling average at home.
Roach-Gabriel Lethal Coalition at Home
As explained that bowling in pairs become a super critical feature as explained in a previous article which is link below
Now if we look at both of these bowlers together as a partnership it really makes for an very effective an important bowling attack for the Windies as over the few years they have played together at home they have been extremely lethal combination for bowling lineups with the new ball. Their combined bowling average is ranging between 16 to 29 runs per wicket which is an exceptional level to have at any stage at any venue in any era.
Another striking feature of this partnership of Gabriel and Roche and both of them individually separate as well is that their home record in the Caribbean is far better than they are away record and this makes it even more emphatic that the South African batting lineup who would be facing them on their home soil for the very first time may have to really work hard to get runs on the board.