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South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test Preview: Hosts face an uphill task to level series

History at stake for the visitors but the hosts will definitely not want to bow down without a proper fight.

South Africa vs Sri Lanka
South Africa vs Sri Lanka. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka managed to achieve something both India and Pakistan failed to in South Africa. They managed to win the first Test of the series through which they gained a lead which cannot be overtaken. This is a do-or-die situation for the hosts to avoid some humiliation as they have never lost a Test series to an Asian side before.

After enduring a catastrophic period in the last 2-3 years, this result came in as a huge relief for Sri Lanka. Kusal Perera’s astronomic effort will definitely go down as one of the very greatest knocks in cricket history and maybe, the greatest in Sri Lankan history.

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The Proteas allowed the game to slip away despite holding a big advantage. They will definitely bounce back in the second Test, but the pressure of being 1-0 down might play its role. History at stake for the visitors but the hosts will definitely not want to bow down without a proper fight.

Playing Combinations

South Africa

Dean Elgar will open alongside Aiden Markram with the senior man Hashim Amla coming in at three. Skipper Faf du Plessis will combine with Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock and Theunis de Bruyn to form the middle order. They will continue with a four-man bowling attack with Keshav Maharaj being the lone spinner and Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Duanne Olivier forming the fast bowling trio.

Probable XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (C), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Theunis de Bruyn, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Duanne Olivier

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka might be tempted to go unchanged into this game. Karunaratne and Thirimanne will open the innings with Oshada Feranando, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva and Niroshan Dickwella coming in the middle order. Just like their opponents, they will go with Lasith Embuldeniya as their lone spinner with Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando and Suranga Lakmal being the three fast bowlers.

Probable XI: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Lahiru Thirimanne, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando

Focus will be on

Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)

When your best player looks pale, the whole team looks pale and something similar can be said about Rabada’s performance in the first Test. He clearly is a stalwart in the side now and his captain expects a lot more from him. The 23-year-old speedster took just three wickets and looked ineffective during the final innings. A big challenge awaits for the wonderful talent.

Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne has something very special awaiting ahead of this Test. It could be under his leadership Sri Lanka might achieve their biggest series win of all time and it’d be needless to say they will go all-out in Port Elizabeth. He has had a decent time opening for Sri Lanka in the last couple of years and it will be interesting to see what he has up his sleeves for the biggest game of his career.

Head to Head

Matches – 28 | South Africa won – 14 | Sri Lanka won – 8 | Draw – 6

StatAttack

6 – Duanne Olivier needs 6 wickets to complete 50 scalps in 10 games, which would make him the third fastest South African bowler to achieve that feat.

Broadcast Details

TV – Sony Networks

Live Streaming – Sony LIV

Match Timings – 13.30 IST; 10 local

Get the latest Cricket News and updates from South Africa vs Sri Lanka seriesMatch PredictionsFantasy Cricket Tips and lots more on CricTracker.com.

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