South Africa are favorites to win
South Africa will take on West Indies at Centurion Park, Centurion. The opening Test of the two-match series gets underway at 10:00 local time on Tuesday 28th February.
This will be the first Test for South Africa under their new captain in this format, Temba Bavuma. The previous skipper, Dean Elgar, will resume his role as an opener at the top of the order. Scoring runs has been the biggest issue for South Africa over recent Tests with their bowling line-up far stronger.
Spinner Keshav Maharaj top scored for South Africa in their last Test in Australia but the main responsibility on the run scorers in this game will fall upon Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Keegan Petersen and Heinrich Klaasen. South Africa hit 255 in their last game, the first time they had scored 250+ in five Tests.
The bowling attack for South Africa is the envy of many teams in this format with Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen providing pace, bounce and accuracy. In the spin department, expect Maharaj and Simon Harmer to be the main threat.
South Africa have not won any of their last five Tests after winning their previous four games in this format.
After a strong overall 2022 in Test cricket, West Indies will be looking to build on their 1-0 Test series victory in Zimbabwe from the first half of this month. Alick Athanaze and Akeem Jordan have both been named in the squad for the first time.
After struggling for consistency with their batting over recent years, West Indies have found an opening pair of Kraigg Brathwaite and Tangerine Chanderpaul who look set to provide consistent runs at the top of the order. After enjoying their time against Zimbabwe, this will be a much tougher test for the batting line-up.
West Indies pace bowlers have plenty of experience but will have their work cut out to keep up with the relentless accuracy of their opposing numbers in this match. Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie took 19 wickets across the two-match series in Zimbabwe.
West Indies have won four of their last seven Test Matches including victories against Zimbabwe, England and Bangladesh.
The match will be played at Centurion Park, Centurion. There will be plenty of pace and carry in this pitch across the opening few days. Expect a par score of 400+ in the first innings.
Read on for team previews, betting tips, latest odds, and match prediction for South Africa vs West Indies 1st Test Match 2023
Dean Elgar , Sarel Erwee, Heinrich Klaasen, Temba Bavuma (c), Khaya Zondo, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Simon Harmer, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Raymon Reifer, Jermaine Blackwood, Kyle Mayers, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Jason Holder, Gudakesh Motie, Kemar Roach.
South Africa had a tough time of it in their last Test series, away in Australia in December and January. But, under new leadership, they will be expecting more success in this series back at home. West Indies will be competitive but may struggle to get on top of a very strong South Africa bowling attack. We expect a close contest which will go into the fifth day but are backing South Africa to win.
South Africa are favorites to beat West Indies
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