South Africa vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview

PICTURE TITLEJust before Christmas the first test between South Africa and Sri Lanka has come. The Centurion will be a pitch Sri Lanka are not fond of the Centurion pitch and might struggle after looking at recent results. South Africa endured a hard fought series against Australia and will take many positives out of it. The pace bowlers will be crucial in this match and so will both teams’ openers against the new ball. South Africa will be favourites at this stage with Sri Lanka sweating on Sangakkara’s fitness and the bowling attack’s short experience in South African conditions.

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Match Information :

December 15, Centurion
Starting Time: 1030 LocaL Time

How the Teams Stand:

South Africa have been in the major debate about who the best team in the world is but the only thing that would separate them from the top is the ability to win series at home. This has been a major issue for South Africa because they have not won a home series 2008 in the test match arena but have a great chance against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka have lost a large number of veterans and are currently rebuilding their squad but ever since the World Cup where Sri Lanka reached the final everything from then on has been on the decline. Although Sri Lanka have only lost recent series by one game it is still not good enough for a cricket nation like Sri Lanka who do have talent but are not using it.

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The new ball should do a bit and the opening batsman will have to work very hard to survive the new ball. Unfortunately both opening pairs have not been consistent recently despite a few runs scored by South Africa in the 1st test against Australia. The new ball bowling is also key as you need to put it in the right spot to get the batsmen committed into a shot. Sri Lanka have won of the weakest pace attack at the moment but there is a chance for them to step up to the plate and secure a permanent spot in the XI. Dale Styen and Vernon Philander were deadly against Australia and if they can bowl like they did Sri Lanka will not be having a happy time in South Africa.

Pitch Report:

On the eve of the match there was plenty of grass cover on the pitch will mean the Centurion will give something to the pace bowlers while the batsman will have to work hard for their runs.

Team News:

It is unlikely there will be any changes to the South African XI that played Australia but Jacques Rudolph will need to start scoring runs to continue.

Kumar Sangakkara split the webbing in his hand during the tour match and he will have one last fitness test to prove his fitness. Herath and Mendis have been named in the squad of 12 but it will be unlikely that Sri Lanka gamble on playing 2 front line spinners.

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