Despite South Africa topping the chart as the number one team in Test cricket, the West Indies cricketers seem to restrain themselves from playing aggressively. West Indies bowling coach Curtly Ambrose has been working very hard with the bowlers but with the injury to fast bowler Kemar Roach this seems to have affected the bowling plan against the tough South African team.
Shannon Gabriel can topple South Africa
Right-arm fast bowler Shannon Gabriel who bowls up to 150K is not a big swinger of the ball but he has appreciably bounce. Gabriel must change around his delivery and bowl at times around the wicket to both right- and left-handed batsmen. The slower ball has not been used by any of the West Indies bowlers as an effective strategy.
However, the South African quick bowlers capitalised from the use of slower delivery. Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander exploited every opportunity to pick up wickets against the West Indies.
Gabriel must do much more bowling because his pace has caused some discomfort for some South African batsmen.
Jerome Taylor fell below expectations. He should have been picking up wickets much more frequently while Jason Holder seems to have skills for One-Day Cricket but not at the Test level.
Young Kraigg Brathwaite scored a fine century and since that innings, he never settled in to score runs frequently and freely. He has to develop playing strokes all over the wicket. He has a weakness on the off-side and he plays with angled bat without proper movement of his feet, thus leading to catches in the slips Devon Smith got some good starts and failed to carry on to good scores. Smith is fortunate to be chosen after Chris Gayle pulled out. A reasonable performance in these Test matches by Smith would have earned him consideration for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next month.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul seems to have given of his best and is about finished. West Indies Captain Denesh Ramdin needs to modify his duties as captain in the use of bowlers, field placement and putting pressure on a new batsman.
It is hoped that the West Indies cricketers would have learnt much on this tour of South Africa.