While he’ll be spending nearly two months away from home, Tabraiz Shamsi believes he and the Proteas will derive great benefit from that lengthy period on the road.
The Proteas arrived in St. Lucia yesterday morning, with three days of quarantine to follow before they can start preparations for the two-match Test series against the West Indies. The first of those Tests starts next Thursday.
And SA’s T20 International Cricketer of the Year says of the tour: “All our games have been played in South Africa recently.
“Normally in the West Indies, the pitches are slow, although generally St Lucia is one of the quicker wickets in the Caribbean.
“But it’s a nice challenge to play in different conditions and fine tune our game plans.”
Shamsi is one of the few players in the South African squad who is familiar with conditions in the West Indies having played a few seasons in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 contest.
He adds: “The role of the spinner is very important in the West Indies.
“They play high-octane cricket. Having played a few years in the CPL, I know a spinner can turn a game. They have brought all their big names back, which will be nice for us to test our skills against.”
South Africa’s record in the T20 format has been swak since Mark Boucher took over as coach in 2019, winning just four out of 16 matches. Although the side is missing Faf du Plessis, Chris Morris and Imran Tahir, there’s still enough firepower to make everyone believe they are capable of winning a series in the Caribbean, albeit against what will be a powerful West Indies team.
Shamsi says: “We know what the guys are capable of in and that gives us confidence.
“They may not be experienced internationally, but we’ve played a lot of cricket domestically. I think we are going to surprise a few people.”