The SuperSport Park in Centurion is ready to host the much-awaited Boxing Day Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka, starting from Saturday.
The home team recently experienced a terrible T20I series against England, where they were whitewashed 3-0. And then the COVID-19 outbreak cancelled the ODI leg.
On the other hand, Sri Lankan players were involved in the recently-concluded Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2020. So, both the sides will be looking forward to beginning the Test series with a win.
Pitch and weather report:
The track in SuperSport Park is expected to be fast, bouncy and will offer swing to the seamers for the first two days. Then the pitch might deteriorate with some up and down for the rest of the match. The thunderstorms are expected to impact the game on Day 1 in the afternoon session but only for an hour or so.
Head to Head record:
Matches played: 29 | South Africa: 14 | Sri Lanka: 9 | Draw: 6 | Tied: 0
The absence of Kagiso Rabada and Beuran Hendricks will change South Africa’s likely attack. Batting department looks fine with Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock as senior players.
SA XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, Dwaine Pretorius, Anrich Nortje , Keshav Maharaj, Glenton Stuurman, Lungi Ngidi.
Oshada Fernando will miss the first Test due to ankle problem while Angelo Mathews is out of the tour with a hamstring injury. Among the bowlers, Suranga Lakmal is doubtful to play the Boxing Day contest after suffering a hamstring strain during training on Wednesday.
SL XI: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Minod Bhanuka, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya De Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Lasith Embuldeniya, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara.