Sri Lanka will enjoy the 1-nil test win buoyance of having comprehensively outplayed the South Africans at Galle against the odds braving handicaps with stand in captain Suranga Lakmal after a third back to back win in the saddle when the two sides lock horns in the second test at the SSC tomorrow. Certainly the Lankans will carry a big leverage over the world’s No2 test team having dented that lofty image by the 278-run hammering in four days, this time around in Colombo environs where the decisive battle for honours would predictably be on a dry wicket favouring spin. Maximising the strong spin advantage was aired by Rangana Herath at the pre-match media conference at the SSC Marquee.
“We will definitely exploit the strong spin advantage we enjoy over South Africa to defeat them for a clean sweep,” the veteran spinner said while adding that the final eleven would be named later. Even a draw will secure the series for the home team.
Herath did hint that there was a fourth spin option in part-time bowler Dananjaya de Silva who he said had an impressive go in the nets.
Meanwhile, South Africa will seek to come out of their dented image in this must win tussle towards which skipper Faf Du Plessis contended his team had prepared to apply themselves. “Our batsmen failed to apply themselves in the first test from which result we have learned a lesson. We will need to apply ourselves against spin. We have accordingly done our homework having decided to take a leaf from Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne’s batting mentality. Karunaratne did not play a single rash shot especially when he was in his 70’s from which our frontline batsmen need to take a cue,” he observed while adding that ‘we will also add an extra batsman.’
Du Plessis also said that he expected a dry wicket at the SSC, but was confident of their batting machinery clicking. “In the bowling department we will go again with our three frontline pacies and two spinners.
Sri Lanka Squad:
Niroshan Dickwella, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Roshen Silva, Angelo Mathews, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lahiru Kumara, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal(c)
South Africa Squad:
Faf du Plessis(c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Shaun von Berg, Aiden Markram.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-