Sri Lanka take on the Proteas in South Africa over three months across three formats, playing 3 test matches, 3 Twenty20 internationals and 5 one-day internationals. The Summer of cricket will produce some top class cricket.
The Proteas cruised to a 206 run win in the first test against Sri Lanka and followed this up with a crunching 282 run victory at Newlands to seal the series win.
Fast bowler Rabada finished with six for 55 as Sri Lanka crumbled to 224 all out, giving South Africa a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
The Third test match takes place at the Wanderers, January 12-16, 2017.
Expect the same from the Proteas with tight, probing bowling and solid batting. Rabada and Vernon Philander will lead the attack with Rabada claiming 6 wickets in the last test innings.
Sri Lanka will need to be more determined in their batting and look to take the sting out of the Proteas bowling attack. But experts believe the pacer friendly Wanderers wicket will ultimate pose to much of a problem for Sri Lanka to be competitive.
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A number of batsmen have been in fantastic form over the last few months. For South Africa, Faf du Plessis has averaged 51.44 in his last 7 test matches with a highest score of 118 not out. Quinton de Kock has been in some fantastic form averaging 65.44 in his last 7 matches with a highest score of 129 not out.
For Sri Lanka the young DM de Silva has had a great start to his test career averaging 61.11, with a highest score of 129 in 5 test matches.
South Africa will look at rising star Rabada to continue his form with a remarkable average of 23.75 in his young career and best figures of 7/112. Philander will be at his best with the new ball and has an average of 23.25 in his last 5 tests with best of 5/21.
For Sri Lanka 75 match veteran Herath has been in good form averaging an impressive 17.53 with the ball in the last 12 months with best of 8/63. Perera is averaging 24.56 with the ball over his last 5 test matches with best figures of 6/70.
Sri Lanka Squad: Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Kumara, Vikum Sanjaya, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Suranga Lakmal, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath
Proteas Squad: Faf du Plessis, Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.
Sri Lanka have been in good form of late, winning their last 5 test matches, a 3-0 white wash against Australia in Sri Lanka, and comfortable 2-0 win against Zimbabwe in Harare. South Africa has also been in great form over the past few months, winning a series at home against New Zealand and then winning a series 2-1 in Australia.
What is remarkable is that South Africa has done this without their main strike bowler in Dale Steyn and world class batsman, AB de Villiers. South Africa, with home ground advantage and recent form, are sports bookmaker’s favourites to take the first test and ultimately the series.
Head to Head
South Africa last played Sri Lanka in a test series in 2014. South Africa won the 2 match series 1-0 after winning the first test in Galle and hanging on in Colombo for a gutsy draw.
The last time Sri Lanka toured South Africa was in 2011/2012, playing a 3 match test series. South Africa won the series 2-1, winning in Centurion and Cape Town. Sri Lanka won comfortably in Durban.
The first test match takes place in Port Elizabeth, a happy hunting ground for South Africa winning 2 of the last 3 test matches against New Zealand, Australia and drawing against West Indies at the ground.
Sri Lanka have traditionally struggled in South Africa, due to the pace friendly pitches and dynamic South African bowling attack led by Vernon Philander and future great Rabada.
“I think in terms of what we want to achieve as a team is to be more aggressive, and that goes through everything,” Faf du Plessis, South African Captain.
December 26-30, First test, Port Elizabeth
January 2-6, Second test, Cape Town
January 12-16, Third test, Johannesburg
Twenty20 international Fixtures
January 20, First Twenty20 international, Centurion
January 22, Second Twenty20 international, Johannesburg
January 25, Third Twenty20 international, Cape Town
One-day international Fixtures
January 28, First one-day international, Port Elizabeth
February 1, Second one-day international, Durban
February 4, Third one-day international, Johannesburg
February 7, Fourth one-day international, Cape Town
February 10, Fifth one-day international, Centurion