Man of the Match: Kusal Perera
South Africa to win the match
Our Prediction is South Africa to win the match!
Host South Africa will be keen to continue their winning momentum when they take on Sri Lanka in the opening game of the Test series in Durban on Wednesday.
Skipper Faf du Plessis will be hoping that his side can continue their consistency with the bat and ball in this two-match Test series. Earlier this season, South Africa completed a 3-0 clean sweep over Pakistan in the three-match Test series.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka will be looking to turn things around in Test cricket. Dimuth Karunaratne has been named captain of the side for the two-match Test series. The visitors were completely outplayed in their previous series played in Australia.
South Africa have announced their 15-member squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. All-rounder Wiann Mulder have been included in the squad for the series due to his good performances at the domestic level.
Faf du Plessis and co. will be keen to get off to a good start in the Test series that starts from Wednesday. Opener Dean Elgar will be looking to find form in the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. Left-hander scored only 126 runs in 6 innings against Pakistan in the Test series played earlier this season.
Aiden Markram has gone through a lean period in recent games played. He has scored 241 runs in 5 Test matches at an average of 26.77. Markram will be looking to get a big score for the side in this opening game.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on the likes of Faf Du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla to do the bulk of the scoring. The big positive for South Africa was de Kock finding form with the bat in the previous series against Pakistan. Theunis de Bruyn and Zubayr Hamza will fight it out for a place in the playing XI for the game in Durban.
In the bowling department, Duanne Olivier will retain his place in the side after picking up 24 wickets in the three-match Test series played against Pakistan. Olivier bowled probing spells with the new-ball and made good use of short-pitch deliveries against Pakistani batsmen. South Africa will be hoping that he can continue his rich vein of form in this game. Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander will be other bowling options for the side for this game.
Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Aiden Markam, Hashim Amla, Theunis De Bruyn/Zubayr Hamza, Temba Bavuma, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier.
Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Duanne Olivier, DW Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Aiden Markram, Keshav Maharaj, Hashim Amla, Vernon Philander, Temba Bavuma
The visitors have been suffering from a terminal decline in red-ball cricket since past two years. Sri Lanka have dropped Dinesh Chandimal from the squad due to lack of runs in the previous series played in Australia.
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne has been named as interim captain of the side for the two-match Test series. Kaushal Silva has been included in the Test squad for the two-match Test series against South Africa. The opening batsman has earned a recall to the side due to a string of consistently good performances at the domestic level.
Lahiru Thiramanne will be given an extended run at the top of the innings. In Australia, he scored 115 runs in 4 innings at an average of 28.75. Left-hander will be looking to do well in the two-match series against South Africa.
The side will be relying on the likes of Dimuth Karunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Perera to do bulk of the scouring. Uncapped players Angelo Perera and Oshada Fernando are included in the squad for the two-match series. The duo will be looking to do well on their first trip to South Africa.
Dhananjaya de Silva and Milinda Siriwardena are players that can provide value with bat and ball. Wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella has done well for the side in recent games and averaged 35.00 with the bat in the previous series played in Australia.
In the bowling department, Sri Lanka have included uncapped medium pacer Mohamed Shiraz and left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya for the tour. Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Chamika Karunaratne and Vishwa Fernando are prominent pace options for the two-match series. Lakshan Sandakan is the premier spinner included in the setup for South Africa series.
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thiramanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Perera/Oshada Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Chamika Karunaratne.
Niroshan Dickwella, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis , Vishwa Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne, Oshada Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne
The wicket will have plenty of bounce and carry for the pace bowlers. South Africa will certainly enjoy the conditions at Kingsmead Cricket Ground. The weather conditions for Wednesday are going to be heavy rains throughout the day.
South Africa have lost their last couple of games played at the venue. The newly prepared wicket will certainly assist the bowlers in this game.
The side that wins the toss would like to bowl first in overcast conditions. The batsmen will have to work hard for their runs on this wicket.
Hosts South Africa have produced a dominant display with bat and ball at home in the previous series against Pakistan. Faf du Plessis and co. have the firepower in the batting and bowling department that will certainly make South Africa favorites to win this game!
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