West Indies v South Africa, 3rd Test, Barbados June 25, 2010

South Africa aim to leave in convincing style

Match facts

June 26-30, 2010
Start time 10.00am (14.00GMT)

Big Picture

After going down in each of the eight matches on tour, across all formats, the high-scoring stalemate in St Kitts came as relief to the West Indies. While questions over the quality of their fast bowling resources persist, the hosts will be pleased with the fact that that their batsmen spent time in the middle. Still their lack of intent in pushing South Africa after reaching a potentially dominant position suggested a defensive mindset. With their inability to bowl out the oppositions twice getting exposed repeatedly, West Indies are likely to approach the third Test looking for a draw.

Expect South Africa to have other plans though. Having faltered in their quest to claim the No. 1 spot in Test cricket in India, Graeme Smith's men will be eager to regain lost ground. In that context, the margin by which they win this series could be crucial. Given the right conditions, their pace attack has shown the ability to bully the hosts' batting line-up, while their batsmen have the nous to survive testing periods. Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel will know that another annihilation of a Test top-order here will fast-track their evolution into one of the most feared new-ball attacks in the game. Led by their fast bowlers, South Africa will come out firing on all cylinders in the decider.

Given the contrasting mindsets that the two sides will bring to the game, the pitch could well decide the course of the match. Historically the tracks at the Kensington Oval have been conducive to bounce and movement but, keeping with the trend throughout the West Indies, there has been a definite slowing down of the pitch in recent times. Though the World Twenty20 games hosted here featured bouncy wickets, there are indications that things will return to old ways. Anything will be an improvement on the country road that was laid out when England visited last year, when a mind-numbing 1649 runs were scored for the loss of 17 wickets.

Form guide (last five completed matches)

West Indies DLLDL
South Africa DWLWW

Watch out for...

Having feasted on the West Indies' attack in the shorter versions, Hashim Amla will be disappointed on wasting opportunities to enhance his reputation as a Test batsman on this trip. While he was removed early in both innings in the first Test, he made starts before falling to Shane Shillingford twice in St Kitts. For a man who collared Harbhajan Singh and co. in the dust bowls of India, it must rankle that he has struggled to deal with an offspinner young to Test cricket. Knowing Amla's methodical ways, he will come back with a plan to counter Shillingford.

This series has re-emphasised the alarming dearth of quality quick bowlers in the West Indies, but Kemar Roach is one man who can address that concern. In the absence of Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor, Roach is West Indies' sole hope for carrying on one of their greatest legacies. They sorely missed his penetration in Trinidad, and there was little for his ilk in St Kitts. If there is any spice on the Barbados track, expect Roach to step up.

Team news

Dale Richards, who scored a pair of fifties in the ODI series, has been included at the expense of Travis Dowlin, and should open the innings with Chris Gayle. In Ravi Rampaul's absence Nelon Pascal can expect a recall. Darren Sammy suffered a thigh injury during training and is ruled out, but was unlikely to get a call up.

West Indies (likely) 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Dale Richards, 3 Narsingh Deonarine, 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 5 Brendan Nash, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Sulieman Benn, 9 Shane Shillingford, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Nelon Pascal

South Africa are unlikely to change the combination though Paul Harris will feel the pressure with Johan Botha waiting in the wings for the spinner's slot.

South Africa (likely) 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Ashwell Prince, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Paul Harris/Johan Botha, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Pitch and conditions

The pitch supervisor Winston Reid predicts the wicket to settle down after the first few hours, so bowlers can expect another five days of hard grind. Interestingly, Reid hinted at spin in the latter stages of the game, which will interest Shillingford and Sulieman Benn. The weather might come into play at some stage in the match, with scattered showers predicted on all five days.

Stats and Trivia

  • West Indies have not defeated South Africa since the Port Elizabeth Test in 2007; In the meantime they have lost 17 straight games, across all formats

  • Chris Gayle is 23 runs away from becoming the ninth West Indian batsman to aggregate 6000 Test runs

  • South Africa have played three Tests at the Kensington Oval, winning, losing and drawing one respectively. The victory came in 2005, when Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers struck centuries


"A lot of people write off a lot of guys at 30 but I think when you get to that age, you understand batting more. I don't go in the game with any sort of pressure."
Dale Richards is not pressured by the unexpected Test call-up.

"We have had an excellent tour of the West Indies so far, and it would be a pity not to finish it off on a high note."
Nothing short of a win at the end of the tour will please Graeme Smith.

"We need someone to fill the gap in our bowling. We need someone, or some help for us to get 20 wickets, which will help us win the Test match."
Chris Gayle knows his side's biggest problem area.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 26, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    too many injuries!

    and the fact that we have no cricket commitments after this until november ...underscores to an extent... why they haven't been so keen to find form...

    its harder forcing some form... when the next time u play you're going to lose the form you fought to attain to begin with!

    the team has potential.... we could have feared ALOT better in the tour with better planning and preparation (ie less T20 cricket in the buildup) and also if we had a full squad (which would look like this - gayle, barath, sarwan,chanders,nash, dwayne bravo, ramdin, taylor, edwards, benn, roach.... does anyone dare say that the 11 above ISN'T more threatening/imposing?

  • charlie on June 26, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    "We need someone to fill the gap in our bowling " . What happen to you Chris ? Weren't you once a top all-rounder in cricket ? Why did you put the young Shillingford through fifty plus overs in his first test and not bowl some yourself ? EVER THOUGHT THAT YOU COULD DO SOME LONG TERM DAMAGE TO HIS CAREER ? Greater captains of the past who were bowlers ,often bowled their hearts out for their teams .Is there any reason why you couldn't take a few overs more often ?

  • Venkata on June 26, 2010, 2:35 GMT

    This would be another walk in the park for the SA. WI are not playing to their potential and SA are way too good for them. the pitch would suit the fast bowlers and SA have the right men to utilize the conditions. one big worry for SA would be the injury to parnell. he would enjoy these conditions and would have had an good exposure in these tracks against weak batting line up. as far as WI are concerned their team must look like gayle, deonarine, sarwan, ch'paul, nash, bravo, ramdin, shillingford, taylor, roach and edwards. three of them are injured and many are out of form and it will be another bitter pill to swallow for the WI. may be toss will prove to be crucial for the WI if they need to upset the SA.

  • ronald on June 26, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    With J.T & K. Roach, wi have two dominant fast bowlers. Im pondering, as with the blokes here in Queens, NYC - How is it that these young chaps, who r professionals, constantly getting injured? Why cant we always have the two on the attack? Where is Fidel? Sarwan needs to stay in shape. Have the fellas forgot what granny & naany would always say - drink your porridge and stay away from fast food! Ravi is doing fine. Any man who can 'clean bowl' Kallis have my utmost respect. Forget about those players who r over 30; let them play in regional competitions. As a matter of fact, the A team members should comprise of the U19s thru 30yo. We need to see Barath, Darren B, Perkins. If Fletch can b consistent, keep him close-by. I find the fellas from Grenada to b cool! All of us in the Commonwealth should know of the British soldier, Johnson Beharry, right?! Well as they used to say, GT Bang-on!

  • Ron on June 25, 2010, 20:46 GMT

    Chris Gayle needs to bat lower if he's to be an asset to the W.I. His flash-and-dash style does not befit that of an opener when the ball is hard and shiny because of a fundamental batting flaw where his bat is perilously tilted toward the slip cordon.

    Additionally, this languid chap is not cut out to be a leader. The Windies would do well in replacing him at the helm.


  • Shanthal on June 25, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    Gayle' quote sounds interesting... "We need someone, or some help for us to get 20 wickets"... I hope his speaking about the pitch and not the umpiring lol!

  • Rohan on June 25, 2010, 18:27 GMT

    The best cricketers are usually students of the game.....after watching the test match starting tommorow i'll conclude who in this team are students of the game..... I've read most of crinfo's articles today, some have hinted at our susceptibility to fast bowling and at least another has been less than gratious to us. WI players Please stop these downpressers from gloating at us.. understand what they are doing to us

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