SA vs SL, 1st Test: Dream11 Prediction, Playing XI Updates & Fantasy Cricket Tips - February 13th, 2019
2019 has already witnessed a number of quality matches across all three formats with Sri Lanka's tour of South Africa just the first of many tours to be initiated over the next few weeks.
South Africa has long been a dreadful place for tourists with the likes of India and Australia succumbing to a South African side looking to build towards a sustainable future without superstar, AB de Villiers.
The next in line to face the South African brigade is a revamped Sri Lankan side, who are on the mend since their disappointing Australian tour where they lost both Tests quite meekly. With Durban playing host to the first Test of the series, South Africa are firm favourites to strike first against a talented but inexperienced Sri Lankan side.
Squads to choose from:
Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn
Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Lasith Embuldeniya, Oshada Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Suranga Lakmal, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Perera, Kusal Perera, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Mohamed Shiraz, Kaushal Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne
Playing XI Updates:
South Africa are set to field their strongest possible side with Keshav Maharaj most likely to return to the side at the expense of Vernon Philander on a pitch that has traditionally helped the spinners. Faf du Plessis will lead the side after a suspension in the previous series and will play at number five, with the presence of De Kock at seven making for a scary batting line-up.
Possible XI: Elgar, Markram, Amla, de Bruyn, du Plessis(C), Bavuma, de Kock (WK), Maharaj, Steyn, Olivier and Rabada.
The likes of Dilruwan Perera and Dinesh Chandimal have been dropped for this series owing to poor form with Dimuth Karunaratne taking over the reins. Young talents are being promoted by the selectors with domestic performances being given the credit they deserve.
Angelo Perera stands a chance to debut for Sri Lanka at number five. Perera recently scored two double hundreds in the same first-class match and would be one to watch out for. It's a toss-up between Milinda Siriwardene and Dhananjaya De Silva for the all-rounder spot with the latter likely to get the nod considering his extra ability with the ball. Suranga Lakmal is reportedly fit to play and will be key for the Island nation.
Possible XI: Karunaratne (C), Silva, Thirimanne, Mendis, Angelo Perera/Kusal Perera, De Silva, Dickwella (WK), Lakmal, Sandakan, Rajitha and Fernando.
Fantasy Tips and Suggestions:
Wicket-keeper: Quinton de Kock has cemented himself as the first-choice wicket-keeper in recent years for SA. While Niroshan Dickwella has been in decent form himself with good knocks in Australia and New Zealand, De Kock is the preferred choice.
Batsmen: Aiden Markram and Dimuth Karunaratne are amongst the best openers in the business and are must-haves in the fantasy team. One or both of Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis would also fit the bill with Kusal Mendis also being a viable option.
All-rounders: While Vernon Philander's inclusion is uncertain as of now, Dhananjaya De Silva is a safe option to go with in your fantasy team. With spin slated to play a part in the match, De Silva could well prove to be handy against the mighty South Africans in Durban.
Bowlers: The likes of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier are invaluable picks in the fantasy team with the latter coming off a breakout series against Pakistan where he was awarded the man-of-the-series. Possessing a deadly bouncer, Olivier would be one of Faf's go to bowlers in the Test. Two of Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha and Lakshan Sandakan should suffice with all three capable of picking up wickets at a good rate.
Captain: Aiden Markram hasn't been able to convert his fifties into hundreds of late and would be itching to score a daddy hundred against the Sri Lankans. He is one of the front-runners for the mantle of captain while the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Hashim Amla would also have a strong say in the matter.
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dean Elgar, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier, Dale Steyn and Suranga Lakmal. Captain: Aiden Markram.
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Quinton De Kock (WK), Hashim Amla, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Theunis de Bruyn, Dhananjaya De Silva, Aiden Markram, Duanne Olivier, Kagiso Rabada, Vishwa Fernando and Suranga Lakmal. Captain: Kagiso Rabada.