West Indies Vs South Africa 2021 Series Review – An enthralling encounter to follow from any neutral fans’ perspective.
Once boasting the greatest generations in cricket history, West Indies & South Africa are now mediocre at best. Yet both teams are showing signs of improvement.
Coming back into form, seniors like Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada stood up in this series, Nortje-van Der Dussen continued to chug along smoothly, and Tabraiz Shamsi-George Linde-Keshav Maharaj spun West Indies into trouble. For the West Indies, Kemar Roach, 19-year old debutant Jayden Seales, and Kyle Mayers, the bowler, were the only positives in the Test series but the World Cup winning squad (bar Sunil Narine) regrouped for this T20I series.
South Africa swept the Tests 2-0 along with a thrilling 3-2 T20I series victory over the mighty West Indies. Were the Proteas really as good as the score line suggests? Not really. Were West Indies really that bad? Not at all.
Positives for both teams, but room for improvement for both as well. Detailed analysis ahead.
Also Read: West Indies Vs Sri Lanka 2021 Series Review, Pakistan Tour of South Africa & Zimbabwe 2021 Series Review
West Indies Vs South Africa At A Glance
Here is a summary of the highest scorers and run-getters from both teams in the Tests and T20I series respectively.
South Africa Tour of West Indies – Results Stats, & Highlights
WI-SA Test Series: SA won 2-0
Why was this even a part of the World Test Championship? Yes, the second Test, part of the WTC group stage, was scheduled at the same time as the World Test Championship Final. Explain that.
WTC apart, this was a one-sided series dominated by the fast bowlers. Rabada, Roach, Maharaj, Ngidi, Nortje, Jason Holder, Jayden Seales, and even Kyle Mayers were among the wickets. Except for Quinton de Kock & Rassie van der Dussen (and Dean Elgar/Aiden Markram with 1-50 each), no batter could hold a bat. Scores of 97, 162, 149, 165 (WI) and 322, 298, & 174 (SA) tells you the story.
- South Africa won by an innings and 63 runs*Quinton de Kock
- South Africa won by 158 runs*Kagiso Rabada
|Player of the Series||West Indies||South Africa|
Quinton de Kock
|Most Runs||Jermaine Blackwood – 88 runs|
(Best of 49, 22.00 average, 1-50)
|Quinton de Kock – 237 runs|
(Best of 141*, 118.50 average, 1-100, 1-50)
|Most Wickets||Kemar Roach – 9 wickets|
(Best inning – 4/52, Best Match – 7/97, 17.88 average)
|Kagiso Rabada – 11 wickets|
(Best inning – 5/11, Best Match – 6/48, 11.45 average)
WI-SA T20I Series: SA won 3-2
160, 166, 166, 167, 168. Consistency of the ages.
Quinton de Kock’s majestic run, Lewis’ power, Anrich Nortje’s 19th over in the 3rd T20I, Russell’s first ball six to Rabada, Fabian Allen destroying Ngidi’s figures, Pollard’s 4 sixes in one over, Gayle taking a quick single/opening the bowling/attempting a somersault, Markram’s shots, and the Shamsi-Linde spinning South Africa to victory—this series had it all.
- West Indies won by 8 wickets*Evin Lewis
- South Africa won by 16 runs*George Linde
- South Africa won by 1 run*Tabraiz Shamsi
- West Indies won by 21 runs*Kieron Pollard
- South Africa won by 25 runs*Aiden Markram
|Player of the Series||West Indies||South Africa|
|Most Runs||Evin Lewis – 178 runs|
(Best of 71, 35.60 average, 2-50s, 160.36 SR)
| Quinton de Kock – 255 runs|
(Best of 72, 51.00 average , 3-50s, 141.66 SR)
|Most Wickets||Dwayne Bravo – 10 wickets|
(Best of 4/19, 13.10 average, 6.89 economy)
|Tabraiz Shamsi – 7 wickets|
(Best of 2/13, 11.42 average, 4.00 economy)
In the year of the T20 World Cup, Simmons-Gayle-Pollard-Bravo-Russell are back. Although performances were spotty, the team spirit was right up there.
- Fabian Allen & Evin Lewis were the stars for West Indies in the T20I series. 2/18, 34 (12), 14* (9), and 19* (13) were cameos that kept West Indies alive even after the top 6/7 had departed. This is just the youth firepower West Indies needs. Great fielder and spinner as well. Fabian Allen – the complete package.
- Evin Lewis’ destructive 71 (35) in the first T20I and Pollard’s 51* (25) showcased the potential for this West Indian line-up. If one player fires, another holds the other end, with a Fabian Allen/Russell-esque finish, then this side can be very dangerous. Otherwise, they can easily fall apart.
- Combination of youth and old guard the key to West Indies’ bowling success. Obed McCoy & Jayden Seales were the find for the Windies in this series and with Oshane Thomas, Alzarri Joseph, & Chamar Holder in the ranks, they have a good fast-bowling generation coming up. Hence, it was nice that Dwayne Bravo came back from his retirement to give his best T20I performance (4/19) in the 4th ODI. 37-years, 482 T20s, and 527 T20 wickets young. Marvelous. Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards & even a bit of Russell really puts this West Indian attack back on the map.
Room For Improvement
- Pooran’s form a bit of a concern. In the last 10 T20 innings read: 0, 0, 9, 0, 19, 0 (IPL 2021) & 9, 26, 16, 20 (WI vs SA). While double digits is a vast improvement from his IPL form this year, his lack of rotation in the middle and inability to finish games off will trigger a debate on his place in the XI. An in-form Andre Fletcher with the gloves is breathing down his neck.
- West Indies utilized these 5 games and experimented with the batting order (although slightly unsuccessfully). At #3-4, West Indies played Gayle-Russell, Gayle-Pooran, Holder-Hetmyer, and Gayle-Hetmyer (twice). It seems that Russell and Pollard are the designated floaters if the top order bat long and Holder-Pooran are in-charge in case of a collapse. Good idea. Needs consistency.
Also Read: Nicholas Pooran, A Story of Pain, Hope, & Inspiration: The Next Big Thing of West Indies & World Cricket
- The left-arm spinners stole the show for South Africa. Tabraiz Shamsi is justifiably ICC’s #1 T20I bowler in the world. 1-11, 2-13, 2-13, 1-16, 1-27. An economy of 4 against a lineup of Lewis-Gayle-Pollard-Pooran-Russell is a stuff of dreams. On every occasion that Simmons/Fletcher-Lewis provided West Indies with a blistering start, George Linde and Shamsi stalled their progress. In slow UAE pitches, this duo will be a handful. Keshav Maharaj’s 9 wickets in the Tests, including a 5-36 and a hat-trick (thanks to Muldur’s catch) to wrap up the second Test, was the icing on the cake. Brilliant collective spin performance.
- Quinton de Kock & Kagiso Rabada are back at their best. In the 2020-21 season, QDK only scored 74 runs at 12.33 in 6 Test innings and 77 runs in 3 T20I innings. Rabada was finally getting out of form as well—Only 5 Test wickets (4 innings) at 39.40 in 2020-21 and no 5 wicket hauls since 2018. QDK scored 492 runs across the series’ with 1-100 & 4-50s and 18-wicket haul for Rabada, including a Test 5-fer.
- Aiden Markam has stepped it up this year. After a wonderful debut year, his form took a nosedive and has been on a roller-coaster ride ever since. Sometimes captain, sometimes not and switched between opening & middle order as well. Since the Pakistan series, he has scores of 51, 54, 63, & 70 in T20Is (out of 7 games played) along with a 60 in Test. Just needs to convert now and make the place his own.
Room For Improvement
- Questions on Bavuma-Hendricks: With Faf du Plessis’ imminent return for the T20I World Cup, where the pair of captain Bavuma-Reeza Hendricks fit in the equation is an open question. This was the series to make their mark. Unfortunately the stats do not add up:
- Bavuma: 76 runs, 15.20 average, 108.57 SR
- Hendricks: 78 runs, 19.50 average, 139.28 SR
- The 6th bowler is probably the biggest concern for the Proteas. Apart from Shamsi (4.00 economy), Anrich Nortje (7.00), and Linde (7.81), the bowling, particularly at the death, has been horrendous. With Rabada (9.44), Lungi Ngidi (10.94), and Hendricks-Markram giving away 65 runs in 4 overs, some things need to change.
- South Africa’s World Cup hopes lie on Chris Morris & Imran Tahir. If Morris is in, the side will be balanced and will give SA a genuine death bowling option: Rabada-Nortje-Morris-Linde-Shamsi-Tahir, and now we are talking about a world class T20I line-up. Add to the that, a Faf-QDK-Markram-van der Dussen-Miller batting line up, South Africa are dark horses for the T20I WC for sure.
T20I World Cup Squad Predictions
West Indies Squad Predictions
- Lendl Simmons, 2. Evin Lewis, 3. Chris Gayle, 4. Shimron Hetmyer, 5. Kieron Pollard*, 6. Nicholas Pooran (WK), 7. Andre Russell, 8. Fabian Allen, 9. Dwayne Bravo, 10. Kevin Sinclair, 11. Obed McCoy
Squad: 12. Jason Holder, 13. Rovman Powell, 14. Sheldon Cottrell, 15. Andre Fletcher, 16. Darren Bravo, 17. Keemo Paul, 18. Alzarri Joseph, 19. Oshane Thomas, 20. Fidel Edwards, 21. Akeal Hosein, 22. Hayden Walsh Jr., 23. Kesrick Williams/ Chamar Holder/Sunil Narine
South Africa Squad Predictions
- Quinton de Kock (WK), 2. Janneman Malan, 3. Faf du Plessis, 4. Rassie Van der Dussen, 5. Aiden Markram*, 6. David Miller, 7. George Linde, 8. Chris Morris, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Anrich Nortje, 11. Tabraiz Shasmsi
Squad: 12. Heinrich Klassen, 13. Temba Bavuma, 14. Reeza Hendricks, 15. Wiaan Mulder, 16. Andile Phelukwayo, 17. JJ Smuts, 18. Dwaine Pretorius, 19. Bjorn Fortuin, 20. Lungi Ngidi, 21. Lizaad Williams, 22. Kyle Verreynne, 23. Imran Tahir
AB De Villiers (WK), Marco Jansen, Lutho Sipamla, Junior Dala, Pete van Biljon, 21. Sisanda Magala, 23. Keshav Maharaj
|West Indies||South Africa|
|Emerging Player||Obed McCoy||George Linde|
|Comeback Kid||Fidel Edwards||Quinton de Kock 2.0|
|Surprise Package||Kyle Mayers, the bowler||Keshav Maharaj’s Hat-trick|
|Broken Cricket Dream||Home Test Defeat & Pooran’s Form||Bavuma-Hendricks & the 6th Bowler|
Upcoming Fixtures: Where Do They Go From Here?
With the T20 World Cup forthcoming, both teams have invested in the preparation.
Here are the upcoming fixtures:
- Australia tour of West Indies – 5 T20Is, 3 ODIs (9 July-24 July)
- Pakistan tour of West Indies – 5 T20Is, 2 Tests (27 July-20 August)
- South Africa tour of Ireland – 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is (11 July-24 July)
Although South Africa are on a positive slope, they do not have as many practice games to get their perfect XI out before the IPL & T20 WC.
West Indies, on the other hand, lost the series but gained some insight due to experimentation. They still have 10 home T20 games—but this is a double edge sword. They have time to put their perfect group together, but also have more opportunities to expose their weaknesses.
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Copyright: @Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 7/7/2021. Email at email@example.com to get in touch with us.