First appearance post De Villiers retirement saw South Africa succumb to an inglorious defeat against a comparatively weaker Sri Lankan team.
Clueless batting and captain Faf’s clamour of doing away with toss in test cricket mean South Africa is on the mat.
Their batting work have been worst among the top teams touring Asia in recent years. Their top 7 batsmen have averaged 21.54 in last 4 years in Asia compared to other teams like England (33.63), New Zealand (32.44) and Australia (28.42). Actually they are only ahead of Afghanistan on this front who have played only one test so far with even West Indies and Zimbabwe trailing Proteas.
In the mentioned span only retired De Villiers has averaged (34.45) more than 30 with Hashim Amla being the second best with average of 26.38 is enough testimony of their batting disaster in subcontinent.
Touring Sri Lanka has been balmy for South Africa so far as before the commencement of this tour they have won two series and lost as many out of 5 they played in the island.
African bowling led by Rabada and Maharaj was certainly a positive face of Galle rout. Experienced campaigners like Amla, du Plessis and Elgar will have to step up and collaborate their bowlers to keep their records flourishing in Sri Lanka.
On the contrary Sri Lanka would have never expected such lesser degree of competition from the Proteas. They have been a shifting side in recent times. They have been foraging the best combination and in search of that, have used maximum number of players in last 12 months. At Galle, Lankan bowling was quite up to the mark as all 4 bowlers used did the damage but batting should be a worry for Sri Lanka given besides Karunaratne, highest score was 35 by Angelo Mathews among 20 wickets fell in both innings. Remember Dinesh Chandimal will continue to sit out due to ban handed by ICC for St. Lucia incident occurred on Westindies tour recently.
● Team News :-
○ Sri Lanka:-
Huge omens or say almost a certainty that Sri Lanka will retain playing eleven that featured in Galle.
● Probable Playing XI :-
Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhanuska Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Matthews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan.
○ South Africa :-
In a dramatic conclusion Tabrez Shamshi has rejoined the African squad in Sri Lanka, so most probably south Africa will also stick with same playing eleven. There might arise an outside chance that proteas bring Henrich Klaassen for Bavuma or De Kock.
● Probable Playing XI :-
Aiden Markaram, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma/Henrich Klaassen, Quinton De Kock/Henrich Klaassen, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Tabrez Shamshi, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada.
● Head to Head :-
Played 26, SL 6, RSA 14, Drawn 6
○ In Sri Lanka:-
Played 13, SL 5, RSA 3, Drawn 5
○ In South Africa:-
Played 13 SL 01, RSA 11, Drawn 1
○ At SSC Colombo
Played 5, SL 2, RSA 1, Drawn 2
● Approaching Milestones:-
** Hashim Amla needs 3 runs to become 15th batsmen in test cricket history to have 9000 runs to his name.
** Dale Steyn needs one wicket to own the record of most test wickets for South Africa.
** Angelo Mathews needs 8 runs to become 9th Sri Lankan batsman to complete 5000 test runs.
● Match Details:-
Venue:- Sinhalese Sports Club Ground (SSC), Colombo
When:- 20 July – 24 July
Time:- 10 AM IST
Broadcast:- Sony Ten 1 HD and SonyLiv