Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka square off in the first Test of the two-match Test series in Harare as both the sides look to gain an upper hand in the series. Post a disappointing show in 2019, Zimbabwe prepare to host their first Test in over two years on Sunday.
With high hopes resting on the able shoulders of Sean Williams, Zimbabwe will be eager to strike the first blow in the series although they face a stern test in the form of Sri Lanka. Despite losing to Pakistan, Sri Lanka boast of a strong unit led by Dimuth Karunaratne.
The visitors will come into the contest as the clear favourites, although one can expect the hosts to provide quite a threat with a good understanding of the pitch and weather conditions on offer. Here are a few tips to help you pick your Dream11 team for ZIM vs SL.
ZIM vs SL Teams
Sean Williams (C), Craig Ervine, Prince Masvaure, Sikandar Raza, Timycen Maruma, Brian Mudzinganyama, Regis Chakabva, Kevin Kasuza, Brendan Taylor, Kyle Jarvis, Carl Mumba, Ainsley Ndlovu, Victor Nyauchi, Donald Tiripano and Charlton Tshuma.
Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Oshada Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha and Suranga Lakmal
Playing 11 Updates
A couple of debutants are set to feature for the home side with Sean Williams leading Zimbabwe in this series. The roster has a good mix of youth and experience with Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza in the mix as well. Domestic performers could be expected to be rewarded with a place in the playing XI, with Prince Masvaure and Charlton Tshuma expected to feature on Sunday.
Donald Tiripano will lead the attack alongside Kyle Jarvis while Ainsley Ndlovu handles the spin duties. Brian Mudzinganyama should get the nod ahead of Kevin Kasuza while Craig Ervine and Sean Williams will be key for them in the batting unit.
Possible XI: Masvaure, Mudzinganyama, Ervine, Taylor, Williams (C), Raza, Chakabva (WK), Tiripano, Jarvis, Tshuma and Ndlovu.
The Sri Lankan playing XI will most likely see Dimuth Karunaratne opening the batting alongside Oshada Fernando. Their middle order is quite formidable with the presence of Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews, while Dhananjaya de Silva provides the balance in the side at No.6.
Niroshan Dickwella will don the keeping gloves for this game with Kumara and Rajitha leading the bowling attack. Lasith Embuldeniya is likely to feature as the lead spinner while Lakmal returns to the side after missing out against Pakistan last year.
Possible XI: Karunaratne (C), Oshada, Mendis, Mathews, Chandimal, Dhananjaya, Dickwella (WK), Embuldeniya, Lakmal, Kumara and Rajitha/Perera.
Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test
19th January 2020, 1:30 PM IST
Harare Sports Club, Harare
Bowlers are expected to play a major part at this venue with a competitive wicket in store for the two sides. As seen in the ongoing Logan Cup 2019-20, pacers have enjoyed the conditions with the likes of Donald Tiripano and Kyle Jarvis picking in excess of ten wickets. Spin will also come into play as the game progresses with the batsmen needing to bide their time before fully expressing themselves.
ZIM vs SL Dream11 Tips
Wicket-keeper: Both Brendan Taylor and Dinesh Chandimal are viable candidates for the wicket-keeper slot with their experience bound to serve them well. While Chandimal scored a fifty in his previous Test against Pakistan, Taylor's knowledge of the home conditions should see him being picked for this game.
Batsmen: Dimuth Karunaratne is one of the better openers in Test cricket with the Sri Lankan captain ranked 11th in the ICC Rankings. His ability to score big runs should come to the fore and will hold the key at the top of the order alongside Oshada Fernando. Sikandar Raza is another good option with his added bowling prowess, while the likes of Kusal Mendis and Craig Ervine are viable alternatives as well.
Allrounders: Dhananjaya de Silva and Sean Williams are must-haves in the side with both of them expected to contribute with bat and ball. While Williams is one of the better players of spin in the Zimbabwean ranks, Dhananjaya de Silva's century in the previous series against Pakistan holds him in good stead. Moreover, his crafty off-spin could also fetch him a few wickets.
Bowlers: The returning Suranga Lakmal should find a place in the fantasy side with the lanky pacer having a knack of picking early wickets with the new ball. Along with him, Lasith Embuldeniya's previous exploits away from home against South Africa also makes a strong case for his selection. While Kumara's pace is a valuable asset, one of Donald Tiripano or Kyle Jarvis should fit the bill for this game.
Captain: Dimuth Karunaratne's record away from home is quite good with the Sri Lankan scoring 280 runs against Zimbabwe in a two-match Test series in 2016. He is the ideal candidate for captaincy along with Sikandar Raza. If one were to pick a bowler for the multiplier options, Suranga Lakmal would be a great pick.
Dream11 Team Prediction
Fantasy Suggestion #1:
Brendan Taylor, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Oshada Fernando, Sikandar Raza, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sean Williams, Donald Tiripano, Lahiru Kumara, Lasith Embuldeniya and Suranga Lakmal.
Captain: Dimuth Karunaratne, Vice-Captain: Sikandar Raza
Fantasy Suggestion #2:
Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Craig Ervine, Kusal Mendis, Sikandar Raza, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sean Williams, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya and Kyle Jarvis.
Captain: Dimuth Karunaratne, Vice-Captain: Suranga Lakmal