ICC CWC 2023 - Match Preview: Sri Lanka v South Africa
South African batters to test Sri Lankan spin in Delhi.
Sri Lanka look to launch their 2023 Cricket World Cup campaign on a positive note today (7) but will have to do so against an opponent they have not won against in World Cups since 1992.
Injury concerns to some of their key bowlers have weakened Sri Lanka and they will be without Maheesh Theekshana for the encounter, an absence they will rue considering the pitch in Delhi.
Sri Lanka’s batsmen, particularly the middle order, will have to take on a larger responsibility to capitalize on any opportunities. Kusal Mendis seems to have regained his form and will be a key asset in the batting department, while the likes of Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya De Silva will be expected to display their usual composure in the lower middle order.
The 1996 champions are without some of their key bowlers with the likes of Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga not featuring in the tournament due to injury, and Maheesh Theekshana despite being in the squad will sit out today’s match as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury. Therefore, there will be greater reliance on youngster Dunith Wellalage, Dushan Hemantha, and Dhananjaya De Silva to ask questions of the South African batters with their spin.
South Africa has been a formidable force in recent ICC events and boasts a strong squad. However, Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala will not feature today after suffering injuries. In spin, they will have Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamzi to choose from. Despite their lack of options on the bowling front, South Africa’s batting line-up has been in good nick.
Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller. The names speak for themselves.
It will, therefore, be a case of Sri Lanka’s spin attack versus South Africa's batting prowess for a chance to kick off their respective World Cup campaigns with a W.