Winless since their victory in the last ODI of their home series against England back home in October, Sri Lanka look to rebuild their lost pride when they take on South Africa for the first of two tests from Wednesday at Durban.
Sri Lanka are feeble and, at least as of now, offer no substantial threat to their hosts in both the tests. Sri Lanka’s only spirited performance in the whites came in Wellington where they displayed a spirited showing to pick up a draw against New Zealand. Since then they’ve abjectly surrendered to conceded two back to back test series. South Africa is going to be an even tougher challenge. Sri Lanka averaged under 200 per innings in Australia which is only expected to dip further when in South Africa. Sri Lanka will have to up their game big time if they are to make something out of this contest.
South Africa, on the other hand, will look to continue their preparations for the World Cup as they yet again look to rely on their squad rotation policy. South Africa have a lot to play for as this is their final assignment in whites before the World Cup and also the final chance to test their perfect fit for the all rounder spot. South Africa are fresh from their 3-0 drubbing of Pakistan but even then have a lot of things to worry about; the first being their batting. Amla’s dry run of form has always been a problem while others have failed to step up and cover the deficit. With a young and inexperienced Sri Lankan bowling attack at their mercy, the South African batsmen will look to regain their form just in time. More than winning, South Africa are going to focus on getting all loopholes covered against their meaky visitors.
Injuries: No injury concerns for them as they will have their regular captain, Faf du Plessis, back after serving a one match suspension due to slow over rate.
Doubt: South Africa have persisted with Keshav Maharaj as the only spinner in their squad, while picking up the young and prolific Zubayr Hamza to fill up the batting void.
Questionable: Wiaan Mulder too has been included in the 13-man squad which makes Temba Bavuma’s spot in the side under threat.
Expected Changes: South Africa are expected to play with the same 11 that defeated Pakistan, with Zubayr Hamza being the most probable change expected.
Injuries: Their front line bowlers along with Dinesh Chandimal have been ruled out of the tour citing injuries.
Doubt: As for Sri Lanka, the whole Playing11 is a doubt considering they’ve got 17 members to pick from.
Questionable: Chamika Karunaratne got a chance but didn’t deliver up to the expected mark. He might just get a go to get one more shot for proving himself.
Expected Changes: Refer Probable XI.
Faf du Plessis (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyne/Zubayr Hamza, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Duanne Oliver
Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan/Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando
To Be Updated Soon.