Sri Lanka vs South Africa, Second Test : Preview and Playing XI
Sri Lanka recorded a comprehensive 278-run win against South Africa at Galle to go 1-0 up in the two-game series. South Africa will now look to bounce back to square the series 1-1 when they take on the hosts in the second and final test match to be played from July 20 at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. At this ground, Both teams have faced each other in five tests. The hosts have won two of those while the Proteas have won just one with the remaining two matches having ended in stalemates.
South Asian Islanders have lost just one out of the six test matches they have played this year. They won a two-match series 1-1 in Bangladesh in February, then drew a three-match series 1-1 against the West Indies before coming into this home series against South Africa. Though they faced major blow ahead of the series
With the bat, Dimuth Karunaratne was in prolific form during the Galle test and he will be the key man for hosts in the second test as well. The opening batsman hit 158 not out and 60 in the respective innings. But other batsmen were not up to the mark which might be a matter of concern for the Islanders.
With the ball, Hosts will once again turn to the likes of Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan and Rangana Herath to do the job. Perera took a match haul of ten wickets comprising 4/46 and 6/32 in both innings. While Herath took 2/39 and 3/38 in the game and has 77 wickets in 13 matches at this ground.
Expected Playing XI: Suranga Lakmal (C), Lakshan Sandakan, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Mendis.
On the flipside, Africans are 0-1 down and will be under a lot of pressure as a defeat in this match would mean a series whitewash.
Plus, the manner in which they were beaten at Galle will surely put plenty of doubts in their mind. They collapsed twice against the Sri Lankan spinners and this could repeat if they do not learn from their errors and come up with an improved batting performance.
With the bat, Faf Du Plessis top-scored with 49 runs in the first test and his performance will be crucial in second one too. Except him, all the African batsmen failed miserably against the Sri Lankan spinners and another flip won't help their cause either.
With the ball, Visitors will depend mainly on Kasigo Rabada who picked up seven wickets (4/50 and 3/44) in the previous game. While he was well supported by economical Shamsi with figures of 3/91 and 1/37 in two innings and Keshav Maharaj claimed 5/58 in the second innings and will be their key in the absence of Shamsi who opted out of the series due to personal reasons.
Expected Playing XI: Faf du Plessis (C), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Shaun von Berg, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj and Temba Bavuma.