West Indies take on South Africa in the first game of a two-match Test series on Thursday, 10th June at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St Lucia.
In their last Test assignment, South Africa lost 0-2 away in Pakistan earlier this year. Since then, Faf du Plessis has announced his retirement from Tests, and Quinton de Kock has relinquished his captaincy duties.
Dean Elgar will captain South Africa against West Windies in this two-match series. The visitors have some exciting new players on their roster for this tour that consists of two Tests and five T20Is.
Elgar named batter Keegan Petersen as one to watch out for on this tour. Petersen is likely to make his debut in the first Test, filling in the spot left behind by Du Plessis. Experienced opener Sarel Erwee and the exciting Kyle Verreynne also stand a chance of making their Test debuts.
West Windies, meanwhile, were last seen in action in a two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in March. Both games ended in draws, despite some promising individual performances from Kraigg Brathwaite's side. Shai Hope and Roston Chase will return to the Test fold after missing the Sri Lanka series.
John Campbell is one of the notable absentees in the West Indies squad, with his absence opening up the opener's slot alongside captain Brathwaite. Meanwhile, young pacer Jayden Seales has earned a call-up to the side.
A Test match between West Indies and South Africa, who are both rebuilding their Test teams, should make for an enthralling encounter. So some quality cricket action from the Caribbean could be expected in the next week or so.
Date: June 10-14, 2021 (Thursday-Monday).
Time: 10:00 AM (Local), 07:30 PM (IST)/ 02:00 PM (GMT).
Venue: Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia.
It should remain warm and cloudy in St Lucia throughout the match, with an average temperature of around 31 degrees Celsius. Rain could play spoilsport on Day 5, though.
The wicket at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground should assist the seamers, and the grassy surface should offer consistent pace and bounce. The batters should be able to score big if they get their eye in, as the ball is likely to come onto the bat.
The returning Kieran Powell could partner Kraigg Braithwaite at the top of the order for West Indies. The impressive Nkrumah Bonner and Kyle Mayers should join Shai Hope in the top order.
Jermaine Blackwood and Jason Holder should form the side's middle order, with Rahkeem Cornwall offering some firepower lower down the order. Shai Hope could also open with Kraigg Brathwaite, with Roston Chase returning to the side.
Alzarri Joesph, Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach should be the West Indies' pacers, along with Holder.
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope (WK), Kieran Powell/ Roston Chase, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Rahkeem Cornwall, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel.
Keegan Petersen could make his Test debut for South Africa and take his spot in the middle order, with Quinton De Kock and Temba Bavuma batting alongside him. George Linde could be the visitors' lone spinner on a seaming surface, with Keshav Maharaj likely to be benched for this game.
Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Wiaan Mulder should be South Africa's main pacers for this match.
South Africa: Dean Elgar (C), Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Keegan Petersen, Quinton De Kock (WK), George Linde, Wiaan Mulder, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi.
Both teams look well balanced on paper, with some upcoming talents on both sides. But home advantage should give the West Indies the edge in this game.
Prediction: West Indies to win.
TV and live streaming details
TV: SuperSport (South Africa)
Live Streaming: FanCode app (India).