Spotlight on QDK’s return
All set to come back into the XI after apologising for his action and agreeing to take a knee for the BLM movement, star ‘keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock will be the cynosure of all eyes. De Kock kicked up a storm when he opted out of the match against West Indies as he refused to be a part of the team’s anti-racism gesture mandated by Cricket South Africa. However, on Thursday the dashing opener issued an apology and made himself available, saying he is fine taking a knee if it “educates others”.
Markram in great touch, but not captain Bavuma
If de Kock returns, it will be interesting to see how SA fit Reeza Hendricks, who did a decent job scoring 39 off 30 balls in the left-hander’s absence. On his part, captain Temba Bavuma, besides hoping that de Kock and the team put this crisis behind them and focus on the World Cup, wil also hope to score some runs himself, having logged scores of 12 and 2.
The heartening feature of their win against the West Indies was the classy show by their No. 4 bat Aiden Markram, who smashed an unbeaten 51 off 26 balls to seal the Proteas’ chase. With Rassie Van der Dussen, batting at the pivotal No 3 spot, giving him fine support with an unbeaten 43 in the last game, South Africa’s middle-order looks reliable.
SA’s bowling attack looks complete
The Proteas’ pace battery is firing on all cylinders. While Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, who conceded just 14 runs in four overs and took a wicket against West Indies, soften the batters with raw pace and bounce, Dwaine Pretorious keeps the pressure up with his variety and accuracy. The way Nortje and Pretorious bowled in the back end of the innings in the last match was admirable, taking four wickets between them in the last two overs. Backing up this menacing pace machine is a top quality spin attack in Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj and the part-time off-spin of Markaram.
Sri Lanka’s twin spin threat
Expect Maheesh Theekshana and leggie Wanindu Hasaranga, who dismissed Finch and Glenn Maxwell the other night, to be a threat.
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