West Indies have their best chance in 30 years to beat South Africa when they face the visitors on Thursday for their first Test in the two-match series. Both the matches will be played at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.
West Indies have recalled wicketkeeper-batsman Shai Hope for the opening test against South Africa beginning on Thursday, but fast bowler Shannon Gabriel will miss the match due to injury.
Hope played the last of his 34 tests in England last year before being dropped, but he was the leading scorer when West Indies blanked Sri Lanka 3-0 in a home one-day series in March.
“Shai Hope has performed very well in the red ball matches he has played, following on the back of his highly successful One-Day International series against Sri Lanka, so he has forced his way into the squad by performance,” chief selector Roger Harper said in a statement on Tuesday.
Top-order batsman Kieran Powell was also recalled, while teenage fast bowler Jayden Seales was named in the 13-member squad for the match.
Kraig Braithwaite’s team are unbeaten in their last four Tests a 2-0 triumph in Bangladesh and drwan matches at home against Sri Lanka.
The exciting 19-year-old from Trinidad & Tobago has played only one first-class match but impressed during intra-squad games to force his way into the test squad.
“Jayden Seales is young, very enthusiastic, and has a big heart. In the ‘Best v Best’ matches he bowled with pace, got movement, and has displayed the ability to take wickets,” Harper said.
“We think he is capable of adding potency to the bowling attack.”
On the other hand, South Africa are reeling from successive heavy Test defeats against Pakistan. Deal Elgars has been appointed as Test captain following the retirement of Faf du Plessis from the long format. The Proteas will be playing their first series in the Caribbean since 2010.
Following the two Tests, the teams will lock horns in a five-match T20 International series in Grenada.
Only Test, Tolerance Oval, 28 Feb - 01 Mar 2024
4th Test, Ranchi, 23-26 Feb 2024
3rd T20I, Auckland, 25 Feb 2024
2nd T20I (N), Auckland, 23 Feb 2024