Mon, 14 Jun 2021

The West Indies' celebrated fast bowling tradition and the composition of their current attack could lead them to prepare wickets to suit both their and South Africa's pacemen - a salivating prospect for Protea Lungi Ngidi.

At their last red ball engagement against Sri Lanka on the subcontinent, the Windies backed their pace attack, with Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph doing the business.

South Africa have answers of their own in Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Beuran Hendricks to return fire. In the wings, all-rounders Wiaan Mulder and Andile Phehlukwayo could also do a gig, as could newcomers Marco Jansen and Lizaad Williams.

"They pride themselves on fast bowlers," said Ngidi.

"Kemar Roach has been in unbelievable form for them, so too Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel. So those guys spearhead their attack.

"They are probably going to prepare wickets that will suit those guys but, when you've got Anrich Nortje running in at 150km/h and KG (Rabada) running in at 145-150km/h as well, who can make it seam around, then it plays perfectly into our hands.

"Our batsmen are also used to conditions that seam around, from places like SuperSport Park and the Wanderers.

"It's going to be a pretty evenly matched Test series and a test of skill, and whoever is better on the day is going to come out on top."

READ | Windies conditions could favour SA's traditional seam attack: 'It feels like England'

Uncharacteristic Caribbean conditions have taken South Africa a little aback ahead of Thursday's first of two Tests at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.

Temperamental weather greeted the tourists in their week leading up to Thursday, making team selection a dicey call, with three out of four seasons being experienced in a day.

"The wicket is on a bit of a mound, if I could say, which does put you off a bit on your jump during your run-up," Ngidi described the pitch.

"The outfield has been very slow, so batsmen are probably going to have to run hard. As a bowler, I'm smiling about that.

"But there's also been a bit of bounce, so it's been different to what a lot of people thought it was going to be.

"With the overhead conditions changing every 30 minutes, you don't know what you're going to get. So one minute it's raining, the next it's scorching hot and then it's windy.

"When it's overcast, you can use it as much as you can with the swing. When it's hot, you have to exploit the bounce, and when it's windy, again, you try to use the swing and try to get the ball to move as much as possible.

"We are pretty much [preparing for] anything to happen, and we are going to take it in our stride."

Proteas Test squad:

Dean Elgar (captain), Temba Bavuma (vice-captain), Quinton de Kock, Sarel Erwee, Beuran Hendricks, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Anrich Nortje, Keegan Peterson, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lizaad Williams, Prenelan Subrayen, Marco Jansen

Source: News24

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