Sri Lanka tour to South Africa 2019 [Preview]
Sri Lanka is scheduled to tour South Africa in the month of February to play two Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is. The visitors will kick-start their tour with a two-match Test series that begins from 13th February.
Dinesh Chandimal-led unit were completely thrashed in the two-match Test series against Australia. They will not find it easy as South Africa will pose a bigger threat in their own conditions. The batting will need to raise their game or else it could another whitewash in the making for Sri Lanka.
For Sri Lanka, the likes of Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal need to show responsibility and score runs for the side in this series. The trio failed to produce runs for the side in their previous trip to the country in 2016. Chandimal will need to dig deep and grind out runs for the side against a formidable unit like South Africa.
Lahiru Thiramanne showed some fight and determination in the recently concluded tour to Australia. He scored 115 runs in 4 innings at an average of 28.75. Thiramanne will certainly be keen to score runs on his first trip to South Africa.
Wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella was the only one who showed positive intent against Australian bowlers. He topped the batting charts for Sri Lanka with 140 runs in 4 innings at an average of 35.00. Dickwella will be keen to continue his good form in this two-match series against South Africa.
In the bowling department, Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando and Kasun Rajitha are three pace options for the side. Dilruwan Perera and Lakshan Sandakan are spin options for the side for the two-match series.
On the other hand, South Africa will be looking to continue their good form in Test cricket after completing a whitewash over Pakistan in three-match Test series. Aiden Markram has shown good form and chipped in with vital scores for the side in Test cricket. He will be keen to get big scores in this two-match Test series.
Since Jun 2018, Opener Dean Elgar has not been at his best and scored 175 runs in 5 matches at an average of 19.44. He also managed to score on one occasion in his last ten innings for South Africa. The home side will be hoping that Elgar can make strong comeback with the bat against Sri Lanka.
Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma and Faf du Plessis are in-form players for the side in the format. De Kock scored a splendid century in the final game of the series at the Wanderers to help South Africa complete 3-0 whitewash over Pakistan. Hashim Amla also chipped in with decent performances for the side in the three-match series against Pakistan. He will be keen to get a big score in the format to silence his critics who have called for his retirement.
In the bowling department, Duanne Olivier was the standout bowler for the side against Pakistan. He bowled exceedingly well and claimed 24 wickets in 3 matches at an average of 14.70. Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Keshav Maharaj are other bowling options for the side.
The opening game of the two-match Test series will be played at Kingsmead Cricket Ground in Durban from 13th February. The second and final game will be played in Port Elizabeth from 21st February.
The conclusion of the Test series will see Sri Lanka compete in a five-match one-day series against South Africa. The opening game of the series will be played at The Wanderers, Johannesburg on 3rd March. The other games will be played at Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Durban and Centurion.
The three-match T20I series will begin from 19th March in Cape Town. The remaining games will be played in Centurion and Johannesburg.