The Proteas will know that anything short of a dominant display against Sri Lanka in their short Test series meeting will be classed as failure.
Sri Lanka arrive in South Africa fresh off the back of incredibly tough away series in New Zealand and Australia and do so without a number of their frontline seamers.
The Proteas named a squad for the first Test at Kingsmead that contains just one change from the group that whitewashed Pakistan with allrounder Wiaan Mulder coming in for a possible Test debut.
Faf du Plessis’ Proteas might want to inflict vengeance on the visiting Lankans after they went down 2-0 in the last meeting between the two sides in the ulitimate format. The Proteas were ill-prepared for that series and it showed in the lack of a clear gameplan against the Sri Lankan tweakers.
Since then though, Sri Lanka have lost the services mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya, whose action was deemed illegal late in 2018. The spinner is currently undergoing remedial work on his bowling action.
Another of the spinners who troubled the Proteas in Sri Lanka, Dilruwan Perera has been axed from the squad. His absence will likely see seam-bowling allrounder Chamika Karunaratne afforded an extended run in the XI after he made his debut in the final Test in Australia.
South Africa probably don’t need a blueprint for the destruction of Sri Lanka’s batsmen but they will still have taken in their visitors struggles against the short stuff down under.
If Duanne Olivier can replicate the kind of bowling he displayed against Pakistan he will return another shithouse full of wickets.
Sri Lanka’s tight travelling schedule means they have not been afforded a warm-up match in South Africa and head into the Kingsmead clash cold.
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne will lead the Sri Lanka team after Dinesh Chandimal was axed following the losses in Australia and a dip in his batting form.
Keshav Maharaj is expected to return to the Proteas XI on one of the more spin-friendly venues in South Africa. The Left-arm tweaker was left out of the second and third Tests against Pakistan in order to accommodate the return of Vernon Philander and allow the retention of Olivier. The Proteas are likely to rest Dale Steyn and bat young allrounder Mulder at seven.
Kingsmead Pitch Report
The curator has been asked to try to provide more pace and bounce than has been typical in Durban in recent years but there is a pretty good chance that spin could play a role as the match wears on. While the Kingsmead pitch has proven slow this season it has proven to be a challenge for batsmen with scoring difficult and bounce inconsistent.
The weather doesn’t look too great I’m afraid with rain delays highly likely on the first two days. Overhead conditions should aid the swing bowlers though.
South Africa v Sri Lanka Test squads
Sri Lanka Test Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne(c), Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya de Silva, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohamed Shiraz, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Embuldeniya.
South Africa Test Squad: Faf du Plessis(c), Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn.
Venue: Kingsmead, Durban
Series: Sri Lanka tour of South Africa 2018/19
Match number: Test no. 2347
Match days: 13 – 17 February 2019 (5-day match)
Start time: 10:00 SAST
Umpires: Aleem Dar and Richard Kettleborough
TV Umpire: Ian Gould
Reserve Umpire: Adrian Holdstock
Match Referee: Sir Richie Richardson
Live Stream: DSTV NOW (Channel 202)
TV: Supersport 2 and SABC 3
Radio: Radio 2000 and Guerilla Cricket SA*
Guerilla Cricket SA are a free to air internet radio service offering ball-by-ball commentary, jingles and more you can enjoy their commentary by clicking on the player below during Proteas matches.
The post South Africa v Sri Lanka 1st Test: Start time, pitch report and live stream appeared first on The South African.