First of the two-Take a look at sequence begins at this time; Neither facet has performed a red-ball worldwide since January
South Africa and Sri Lanka will finish a prolonged COVID-induced break from Take a look at cricket when the primary of two world championship Take a look at matches begins at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Saturday.
Neither facet has performed a red-ball worldwide since January, when South Africa completed 3-1 loser in a house sequence towards England whereas Sri Lanka was profitable a two-match sequence 1-Zero in Zimbabwe.
Sri Lanka can name on a lot of the gamers who shocked the Proteas by profitable each Exams on their earlier tour of South Africa two seasons in the past.
On paper, South Africa is weaker than it was in that earlier sequence with their complete quick bowling assault of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Duanne Olivier lacking by retirement, harm or, within the case of Olivier, the lure of the British pound.
The Sri Lanka sequence additionally marked the tip of the distinguished Take a look at profession of batsman Hashim Amla.
There was a change of captaincy, with Faf du Plessis having resigned, though he stays within the crew as a participant.
Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, South Africa’s main Take a look at batsman final season, has accepted what quantities to a caretaker position for the 2020-21 season solely.
De Kock’s appointment has echoes of that of Dimuth Karunaratne, the Sri Lankan opening batsman, who was introduced as a ‘stand-in’ captain for the 2018-19 tour however did such a very good job of instilling a constructive angle in his gamers that he has remained on the helm.
Completely different situations
Circumstances, although, might be considerably completely different, with the matches being performed on the quick, bouncy pitches of Centurion and Johannesburg as an alternative of the slower, coastal surfaces in Durban and Port Elizabeth the place Sri Lanka prevailed final time.
Regardless of having a totally completely different quick bowling assault, South Africa’s bowlers will current a tricky problem to the visiting batsmen.
Anrich Nortje is likely one of the quickest bowlers on this planet, whereas Lungi Ngidi has returned to type after a sequence of accidents.
Glenton Stuurman may win a primary cap as a like-for-like alternative for the naggingly correct Philander.
Key for Sri Lanka would be the anticipated return of Kusal Perera. The left-hander performed a career-defining innings when he made 153 not out within the first Take a look at in Durban on the earlier tour, turning what appeared prone to be a routine South African win into an exhilarating one-wicket victory for the vacationers, sealed with an unbeaten final wicket stand of 78 with Vishwa Fernando.
Earlier than that innings, Perera had a Take a look at batting common beneath 30. He was unable to maintain his Durban type and was dropped after a poor sequence towards New Zealand later in 2019.