Sri Lanka tour of South Africa 2019 - Preview, Team Squads and Series Predictions

Sri Lanka tour of South Africa 2019 - All you need to know
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All you need to know about the Sri Lanka tour of South Africa. As the preparations for the World Cup start reaching full swing, Sri Lanka fly to South Africa for a full-fledged tour comprising 2 Tests, 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is.

It is a bit strange that with the World Cup just a couple of months away, Sri Lanka have decided to start of the tour with two Test matches against South Africa. The Lankans were completely blown away in Australia in the two Tests that they played. Although players like Karunaratne and Dickwella looked impressive in patches, the team failed to give the Australians any competition and lost both Test matches easily.

In their defence, their leading bowlers in Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara got injured because of which the potency of their attack decreased drastically. But still, Sri Lankan cricket, especially the long format, does not appear to be in good health.

The Australia series was preceded by Sri Lanka's tour of New Zealand where they lost the Test series 1-0, followed by a loss in the ODI series 3-0 and another loss in the only T20I on the tour. All in all, they were not able to win even a single match on that tour which paints them in a very bad light.

On the contrary, South Africa have been bossing their recent matches and have staked claim as one of the front runners for the World Cup title. Their last series was against Pakistan which started off with a 3-0 South African win in the Test series. The Proteas then backed it up with a 3-2 win in the ODIs and 2-1 win in the T20I series.

A couple of their players are in smoking hot form. Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen have set the stage on fire of late. Hashim Amla, skipper Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock are their other main batters. The inclusion of Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy in the World Cup squad is not a certainity as yet. This has created some healthy headaches for them heading into the World Cup.

The return of Dale Steyn has further bolstered the side. Steyn completes the pace bowling attack along with Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier and Vernon Philander. Lungi Ngidi is another probable who is currently recovering from an injury. Keshav Maharaj is the leading spinner in the Test matches. Meanwhile, left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi has overtaken Imran Tahir as their first-choice spinner in the LOIs.

Sri Lanka have been hit by charges of suspect action on spinner Akila Dananjaya who used to be their x-factor. Lakshan Sandakan has to play that role now. They certainly have a lot of talent with captain Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Thirimanne and Dhananjaya de Silva in the batting lineup and Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando and Kasun Rajitha in the bowling ranks.

However, off-field controversies have affected the team's morale. All in all, don't be surprised if Sri Lanka are not able to open their winning account on this tour.

 

Here's are our predictions for the series:

Winner: South Africa (in each of the formats 2 Tests, 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is)

Highest run-scorer:

Test - Sri Lanka- Niroshan Dickwella, South Africa- Faf du Plessis

ODI -  Sri Lanka- Thisara Perera, South Africa- Hashim Amla

T20I - Sri Lanka- Thisara Perera, South Africa- Rassie van der Dussen

Highest wicket-taker:

Test - Sri Lanka- Vishwa Fernando, South Africa- Kagiso Rabada

ODI - Sri Lanka- Suranga Lakmal, South Africa- Andile Phehlukwayo 

T20I - Sri Lanka- Kasun Rajitha, South Africa- Beuran Hendricks

Most boundaries:

Test - Sri Lanka- Niroshan Dickwella, South Africa- Faf du Plessis

ODI - Sri Lanka- Kusal Perera, South Africa- Hashim Amla

T20I - Sri Lanka- Thisara Perera, South Africa- Rassie van der Dussen

 

Here's a look at the squads:

Sri Lanka Test Squad

Dimuth Karunaratne, 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

Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn

Sri Lanka Tour of South Africa 2019 - Fixtures Schedule

Feb 13 - Feb 17 South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1st Test Kingsmead, Durban 8:00 AM

Feb 21 - Feb 25 South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth 8:00 AM

Mar 03 South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg 8:00 AM

Mar 06 South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI SuperSport Park, Centurion 11:00 AM

Mar 10 South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI Kingsmead, Durban 8:00 AM

Mar 13 South Africa v Sri Lanka, 4th ODI St George's Park, Port Elizabeth 11:00 AM

Mar 16 South Africa v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI Newlands, Cape Town 11:00 AM

Mar 19 South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1st T20I Newlands, Cape Town 4:00 PM

Mar 22 South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd T20I SuperSport Park, Centurion 4:00 PM

Mar 24 South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg 12:30 PM

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