Dale Steyn to lead the way
By Ilhaam Hoosain
25 December 2007
Lead by Dale Steyn, South Africa's fast bowlers will pose a formidable threat to the West Indies in the first of three Tests, starting on Wednesday.
Steyn has risen in the International Cricket Council rankings after two excellent series against Pakistan and New Zealand to No 3, one place behind team mate Makhaya Ntini.
Steyn will savour the opportunity of bowling at the West Indies at St George's Park after his previous experience on the same ground.
The West Indies had won the one-off Twenty20 international on December 16 by five wickets - with South Africa 12 for six at one stage - Steyn took 4-9 in three overs.
It was the second-best bowling performance in Twenty20 internationals, behind New Zealand’s Mark Gillespie's 4-7 last year against Kenya.
The Windies batting may be short of tour captain Chris Gayle, who will make a late decision after a lingering hamstring injury from the tour of Zimbabwe.
If Gayle does not play, Shivnarine Chanderpaul's tough resistance is likely to be the main concern for the South African attack, after Brian Lara's international retirement and Ramnaresh Sarwan's injury.
West Indies last week lost a tour match against South Africa 'A' by 10 wickets.
South Africa will look to Jacques Kallis. At the top of the order, South Africa captain Graeme Smith needs to show he has recovered from a virus. Smith used his recovery time to work on technical difficulties which have damaged his batting confidence.
For the West Indies, Jerome Taylor, Daren Powell and Fidel Edwards provide a three-pronged pace attack.
West Indies selectors could to use the legspin of Rawl Lewis against a South Africa which has never been entirely comfortable against spin.
Graeme Smith (captain), Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, A.B. de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Shaun pollock, Dale Steyn.
Chris Gayle (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Pedro Collins, Fidel Edwards, Darren Ganga, Rawl Lewis, Runako Morton, Brenton Parchment, Daren Powell, Dinesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor.