West Indies and South Africa will face off in a five-match T20I series beginning on Saturday, June 26 in Grenada, following a one-sided Test series that concluded 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
Neither side is coming into this series with a lot of momentum. Despite being a T20I powerhouse, the Windies have lost three of their past five matches in the format, while South Africa has lost four of their last five.
Both nations, though, will have the chance to turn their fortunes around in the run-up to the T20 World Cup, with the West Indies in particular playing as many as 15 T20Is before the ICC event later this year. Veteran all-rounder Andre Russell has been returned to the Caribbean team, but explosive teenage batsman Shimron Hetmyer has been left out.
The Proteas, on the other hand, have a new captain in Temba Bavuma, who will attempt to guide an inexperienced team to T20 triumph against the defending champions. They hold an interesting head-to-head edge in the T20I format, with six wins in ten prior meetings.
West Indies vs South Africa 1st T20I Match Prediction: Who will win the series opener in Grenada?
Despite coming off a historic Test victory, South Africa are the clear underdogs in this series against the West Indies.
The visitors’ main disadvantage is likely to be their lack of experience. Quinton de Kock, who has been freed of his captaincy duties after a strong Test series, and David Miller are the only two batters in the squad with significant T20I experience. The trio, along with the dependable
Rassie van der Dussen and captain Bavuma, will be charged with shouldering the brunt of the
Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Lungi Ngidi’s bowling inspires more confidence. They will, however, be up against one of the most formidable T20I batting lineups ever put together.
Even without Hetmyer, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Kiernan Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo – the list goes on and on. Even if a couple of these batsmen aren’t in top form, they can be counted on to deliver as they always do.
While the bowling of the West Indies isn’t as good as it has been in the past, it isn’t bad either. The revealing feature of this West Indies team is that they’ve been able to compensate for leaky bowlers on numerous occasions.
If the rain that has been forecast for the match stays away, the pitch in Grenada is supposed to be a belter. With a stable skipper in Pollard and a powerful unit, the West Indies should be the favorites in this match. In the absence of stalwarts like Faf du Plessis, Bavuma may need a few more matches to oversee a smooth transition.