South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka: Five Sri Lanka players who can make an impact
Sri Lanka have announced their squad for the first two of the five ODI matches to be played against South Africa at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Angelo Mathews will be missing out the first two matches due to a suspension that was handed out to him due to slow bowling over-rate in the final of the tri-nation final Sri Lanka played against India. Dinesh Chandimal, who was the vice-captain of the side, has been given the challenging task of leading the side in the interim making him the youngest captain in history of Sri Lankan cricket. He will have the guidance of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara at his disposal.
Sri Lanka have played some good cricket in the recent past but have failed to convert that into silverware as they bowed out of the Champions Trophy in the semi-final, and lost out to India in the final of the Caribbean tri-series.
Their record at home in the shorter format of the game is impressive and hence they will be confident of putting up a good show. The return of Tilakratne Dilshan from an injury that he suffered at the Champions Trophy is good news as it strengthens the top-order.
An area of concern for them will be the performance of some of the new faces in the side. The likes of Lahiru Thirimanne and Shaminda Eranga need to take greater responsibility. Thisara Perera makes a return to the team after he was dropped for the series in the Caribbean.
Here is a list of five players who can make a significant contribution to the side against the mighty Proteas side:
5. Shaminda Eranga
Nuwan Kulasekara suffered an injury to his finger while fielding to his own bowling in the Caribbean which has ruled him out for the first two matches.
This means that greater responsibility will be on the young shoulders of Shaminda Eranga who has gained some valuable experience from the tours to England and West Indies. He has the confidence of the captain which was proved by the fact that he was given the final over in the tri-nation series final but was unfortunately put to the sword by MS Dhoni.
That can turn out to be a critical learning curve for him. He can definitely improve upon his record of 15 wickets in 11 appearances with an average of just below 27 at an economy rate of just over 5.50 runs per over.