Home > News >

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 1st Test Preview: Proteas aim to erase wretched record in the Island nation

Angelo Mathews (left) and Hashim Amla would look to make their mark by showing their captaincy skills © Getty Images
Angelo Mathews (left) and Hashim Amla would look to make their mark by showing their captaincy skills © Getty Images

By R Vishal

Jul 15, 2014

Sri Lanka and South Africa face-off in the first Test match of the two-match series at the picturesque ground of Galle in the southern tip of the country. This two-match series will be keenly contested and watched, not because of cricketers of the highest quality from both sides battling it out. Time will be closing on the longest format of the game for a great and the beginning for another. The players referred here are Mahela Jayawardene and Hashim Amla – two of the finest silk footed ‘touch’ players of their generation.

Jayawardene will surely be the cynosure of all eyes given that he will be playing the last few Test matches for his country to pull down curtains on one of the finest in the 21st century. Jayawardene’s marathon 374, close to a decade ago against the very same opponent is forever etched in a cricket aficionado’s memory. South Africa should know better as Jayawardene scored a double-century the last time these two teams played at Galle.

The hosts haven’t made too many changes from the team that won their first ever Test series in England. Pacer, Nuwan Pradeep is excluded and Suranga Lakmal makes a comeback. The heroes of Headingley – Dhammika Prasad and Shaminda Eranga also keep their places. Where the Lankan pacers lack in experience and world-class quality and experience, they make up for it in heart and street-smartness.

Apart from their rock-solid batting order, the hosts’ biggest weapon in the first Test will be Rangana Herath. After the legendary Muttaih Muralitharan’s retirement, the left-arm spinner has seamlessly filled those giant boots. Records also show that Sri Lanka have a 90% win record whenever Rangana Herath delivers for his team. Galle is a venue where the 34-year old has a phenomenal record and it would take all the brilliance of Amla, AB de Villiers and co. to keep the threat of Hearth at bay.

After winning their first One-Day International (ODI) series in Sri Lanka, the Proteas will be elated and bring a positive mindset to correct their abysmal record in these parts. The side has looked bereft of ideas whenever they have toured Sri Lanka in the past. This time it’s Amla, South African’s first ever permanent non-white skipper, who will take a crack at it. This being his first ever captaincy assignment, Amla could not have asked for a tougher challenge.

Couple of new faces feature for South Africa in Dane Piedt — a quality right arm off-spinner, who has a been a revelation in the domestic circuit. Piedt will be joined by the all-rounder, Stiaan van Zyl. Both the rookies hail from Cape Town, yet again highlighting the strength of the cricketing stables in the province. Van Zyl averages close to 50 with the bat and is more than just a part-timer with his medium-pace. Rest of the team bears a familiar look. Has the time come for South Africa to finally prevail in Sri Lanka?

Squads:

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (c), Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Shaminda Eranga, Mahela Jayawardene, Rangana Herath, Dhammika Prasad, Lahiru Thirimanne, Chanaka Welegedera, Suranga Lakmal, Ajantha Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Kithruwan Vithanage, Upul Tharanga, Suranga Lakmal.

South Afirca: Hashim Amla (c), AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Kyle Abbott, Alviro Petersen, Vernon Philander, Dean Elgar, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Dane Piedt, Stiaan van Zyl.

Time: 4: 30 GMT I 10: 00 IST

(R Vishal is a journalist and an alumni of the Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Live Cricket Score Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014: Khaya Zondo lifts Dolphins with half-century

Don Bradman plays his final innings in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Pananmal Punjabi: A nonagenarian Test opener

Chris Cairns cleaning bus shelters? Why?

Asian Games 2014 Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders Northern Knights Pakistan

PCB chief Shahryar Khan to undertake tour of subcontinent to forge cricketing ties

James Anderson: Spat with Ravindra Jadeja one of the most stressful periods in my career

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers, CLT20 2014 Match 4 at Mohali: Vaughn van Jaarsveld out to Jason Behrendorff

PIL filed against BCCI by Aditya Verma in Bombay High Court

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers, CLT20 2014 Match 4 at Mohali: Dolphins look to consolidate

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: Barbados Tridents’ likely XI

Don Bradman plays his final innings in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers, Match 4, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: KXIP’s likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

669 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) CLT20 2014

Latest Ebola News: 8 killed by Guinea village residents while gathering Ebola data

Discovered — new gene linked to diabetes development

iPhone 6 goes on sale in pictures

Wickedleak Wammy Desire 3 tablet with 7-inch display and Android KitKat launched for Rs 5,999

Microbial cell technology to better clean-up rural waste

Aditya Roy Kapur’s on-the-move gym is a hit!

Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7 Super Finale: Anil Kapoor gets romantic with Madhuri Dixiti-Nene – View pics!

Daawat-e-Ishq actors Aditya Roy Kapur and Parineeti Chopra showcase their culinary skills!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here