T20 World Cup 2021, South Africa vs Sri Lanka (Super 12) Preview: An even contest on the cards
South Africa and Sri Lanka have had a mixed start to the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. As the two sides clash, it is expected to be an intense clash, while the result could decide the race for the semis.
It is expected to be an intense face-off, as South Africa takes on former champion Sri Lanka in Group 1's Super 12 clash of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday. The tie would be crucial for both, as a win would keep the side in the race for semis, while a loss could jeopardise its chances. Meanwhile, here is the preview of the same.
Both teams have won and lost a match each in the Super 12s so far. The two also won their respective warm-up games before the tournament, indicating that they are evenly poised now. However, considering that Lanka has had an incredible winning streak of late before losing the last game, it has a tide advantage heading into the tie.
Team strength & weaknesses, and players to watch out
Considering the teams, South Africa's strength is its batting. Although it is aware of not having the excellent services of opener Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock, and Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada, would draw most of the attention. However, its bowling should not be taken lightly either.
In the meantime, Lanka is imperceptibly abundant in its bowling. However, its batting line-up possesses a good amount of star power, which could be decisive. Australia might have halted its healthy winning streak in the last game. But, the likes of Avishka Fernando, skipper Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Akila Danajaya and a couple more would still draw attention.
Injury concerns, head-to-head, weather and pitch report
None of the sides has any significant injury concerns. The Sharjah weather would be heated, with around 33 degrees of an expected temperature and 43% humidity. The track is likely to play slow. While keeping up with the trend, the side winning the toss will move ahead bowling first and would prefer chasing.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen/ Quinton de Kock (wk), David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi.
Lanka: Kusal Perera (wk), Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara and Maheesh Theekshana.
Batters: Markram, Asalanka, Rajapaksa- Asalanka would give the perfect start, while Markram and Rajapaksa can fire both at the top-order or the middle.
Wicketkeeper: Perera- He is the only man in form who outbids everybody else and would be a healthy opener.
All-rounder: Hasaranga (c)- The lad has been delivering with the ball exceptionally well and can be a decent contribution with the bat as well, making him the skipper.
Bowlers: Nortje, Rabada, Maharaj, Theekshana, Karunaratne, Kumara (vc)- In a packed bowling department, Maharaj and Theekshana would rule with their classy spin, while the remaining four have been doing a decent job with their pace, with Kumara's consistency making him the deputy captain.
Date and day: October 30, 2021 (Saturday)
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Time: 3.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar