The first Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka will kick off on the boxing day. But before that Sri Lanka need to be very Smart with their approach against South Africa. This is because their history produces menacing signs against South Africa especially when they play abroad. They played ten Test matches in South Africa with the result of only one victory and one draw while rest they lost. However Sri Lanka ODI record is better than Test matches. So this long series will test their capabilities both in bowling and batting. However they need to cover up their weakness in batting that has been a soft belly for them. It would be a challenging task to play against Soth Africa bowling attack which demands special skills to play against.
Their only win came five years ago when they beat south Africa by 208 runs. In that match, Thilan Samaraweera scored hundred in the first innings and Kumar Sangakkara in the second innings. But the best performer was Rangana Herath who took 9 wickets for 128 runs in the match. Now Sri Lanka have a new and inexperienced side, especially in the batting department. It could be worse when they will face south African pace attack who are very fresh from winning the Test series against Australia. Sri Lankan batsmen have to be at their very best when they face the likes of Rabada, Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbot. But if captain Mathews, Chandimal, Kaushal silva, Mendis can step up, it could be a very competitive series.
On the other side, Sri Lanka can be very pleased because they win their last five Test matches including three match series whitewashing Australia. So their confidence will be quite high. Their first Test match will be held at St George’s Park which is very similar to the Sri Lankan spinning condition. Rangana Herath can be the trump card for Sri Lanka there. He was in a very destructive form when performed brilliantly for the historical win against Australia where he took 28 wickets.
His accuracy and lethal armor will be very tough to handle. Former South African spinner who grew up playing at St George’s Park said, “It’s similar to playing on the sub-continent. The game goes through phases; there are times (as a batsman) when you won’t score quickly, you need to be patient, and there will be times where the runs come quickly. When you have to be patient, it’s important you do that, absorb the pressure and wear the bowlers down.”
Sri Lanka had a well-planned practice at the home before leaving for South Africa. They polished themselves by playing on granite pitches to cope with the bounce and pace. In addition, they will also play a three-day practice match against Potchefstroom on Sunday to acquaint themselves with the conditions. Fans from both sides are waiting for a competitive series between these two teams.
|18||South Africa Invitation XI||v||Sri Lankans||3Day||Senwes Park, Potchefstroom||10:00 local – 08:00 GMT|
|26||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||1st Test||St George`s Park, Port Elizabeth||10:00 local – 08:00 GMT|
|2||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||2nd Test||PPC Newlands, Cape Town||10:00 local – 08:00 GMT|
|12||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||3rd Test||Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg||10:00 local – 08:00 GMT|
|20||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||1st T20||SuperSport Park, Centurion||18:00 local – 16:00 GMT|
|22||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||2nd T20||Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg||14:30 local – 12:30 GMT|
|25||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||3rd T20||PPC Newlands, Cape Town||18:00 local – 16:00|
|28||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||1st ODI||St George`s Park, Port Elizabeth||10:00 local – 08:00 GMT|
|1||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||2nd ODI||Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban||13:30 local – 11:30 GMT|
|4||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||3rd ODI||Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg||13:30 local – 11:30 GMT|
|7||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||4th ODI||PPC Newlands, Cape Town||13:30 local – 11:30 GMT|
|10||South Africa||v||Sri Lanka||5th ODI||SuperSport Park, Centurion||13:30 local – 11:30 GMT|