Jun 03, 2017

Sri Lanka facing daunting challenge today

South Africa will take on Sri Lanka in the first match for both teams in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 at  the Kennington Oval, London at 3.00 pm local time.

Five batsmen, three fast bowlers, one spinner

Sri Lanka will include five batsmen, three all-rounders, two fast bowlers and a spinner in their squad for today’s game.

The Sri Lanka team will not be playing under their permanent Captain Angelo Mathews, who has been out of the game since January due to an injury. Upul Tharanga is expected to lead the Sri Lankan team.

Sri Lanka joins the Champions League Considered to be the dark horses in Group B.

South Africa No. 1 in ODI

The Sri Lankan team has not been performing well in the ODIs lately and have dropped down the ODI rankings as well.

In their recent 15 encounters, Sri Lanka lost nine of them and managed to win just four matches with two matches ended without a decision.

South Africa leads the ODI rankings winning 11 of the 15 matches played, losing just four. They have succeeded in winning all 13 matches played from June 24, 2016 to February 19, 2017. The 5-0 wins against Australia and Sri Lanka is also included in South Africa’s winning streak.

Malinga’s inclusion, a consolation

It is a consolation for Sri Lanka that experienced fast bowler Lasith Malings will be playing for Sri Lanka against South Africa. However, Malinga has not been playing for Sri Lanka since 2015 due to a recurring knee injury.

However, another consolation for the Sri Lanka team is that former South Africa fast bowler known as white lightening, Alan Donald is Sri Lanka’s fast bowling coach. He played a pivotal role in putting South Africa on the international map in cricket. Donald’s experience certainly brings many advantages to the Sri Lankan squad.  

Donald also brings with him knowledge on the mental strengths and weaknesses of the South African team and how they face matches, which is certain to be useful to the Sri Lankans on the playing field.

Sri Lanka lost both matches against New Zealand and Australia despite scoring over 300 runs having bat first. The reason they could not secure victory despite scoring the runs was that the bowlers failed to do their part. This is an area that Donald would have to focus on in today’s match.

South Africa and Sri Lanka faced each other in January this year during the South Africa tour with SA winning all five matches against SL.

Sri Lankan squad:

AD Mathews (Captain), WU Tharanga, LD Chandimal, N Dickwella, ANPR Fernando, DAS Gunaratne, CK Kapugedera, KMDN Kulasekara, RAS Lakmal, SL Malinga, BKG Mendis, MDKJ Perera, NLTC Perera, S Prasanna, PADLR Sandakan

South Africa Squad

AB de Villiers (Captain), HM Amla, F Behardien, Q de Kock†, JP Duminy, F du Plessis, Imran Tahir, KA Maharaj, DA Miller, M Morkel, CH Morris, WD Parnell, AL Phehlukwayo, D Pretorius, K Rabada