South Africa could play four fast bowlers

Can Sri Lanka avoid 3-0 humiliation?


Rex Clementine reporting from Johannesburg

Sri Lanka bowler Suranga Lakmal (R) celebrates the dismissal of South African batsman and Captain Faf du Plessis (L) during the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka on January 4 at Newlands Cricket Stadium in Cape Town. (Gianguigi Guercia / AFP / Files)

Sri Lanka have a huge challenge in the third and final Test against South Africa here at the Wanderers in Johannesburg starting today as the hosts are looking for a 3-0 whitewash. Sri Lanka are likely to retain the same team that lost the second Test in Cape Town by 282 runs while South Africa could opt for an all-out pace attack fielding as many four fast bowlers.

Left-arm quick, Wayne Parnell will feature in the line-up as replacement for the axed Kyle Abbott, who quit international cricket for a deal with English county Hampshire.

Uncapped fast bowler Duanne Oliver was also drafted into the squad ahead of the final Test. The Wanderers is South Africa’s fastest wicket and if the Proteas opted to go with an all-out seam attack, spinner Keshav Maharaj will too be left out.

In the history of Sri Lankan Test cricket, they have been whitewashed 3-0 only on four previous occasions and the tourists will have to come up with a decent effort with the bat to avoid humiliation. South Africa will be fired up to achieve a whitewash having come so close to beat Australia 3-0 last December. They have never beaten Sri Lanka 3-0.

Sri Lanka’s bowlers have done a decent job, but batting has been a concern. After four innings, the tourists are yet to post 300 runs in an innings while there have been only two half-centuries in the series.

People will endure even if Sri Lanka are thrashed 3-0 as this is a young team, but the lack of fight and inability to learn has hurt many.

The approach of their batsmen to attack from the start has proved to be their undoing and a better fight is expected in the final Test starting today.

This will be former South African captain Hashim Amla’s 100th Test match.

The 33-year-old has had a quiet series with a top score of 48. With over 7,000 Test runs to his name, Amla is one of the best batsmen produced by South Africa.

Mocked as not suitable to play Test cricket by former South African great Barry Richards due to his dodgy technique, Amla has overcome many obstacles and in 2012 went on to become the first South African and so far the only to score a triple-hundred.


Sri Lanka (Probable XI):

Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews (Captain), Dinesh Chandimal (Wicketkeeper), Upul Tharanga, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara and Nuwan Pradeep.

South Africa (Probable XI):

Dean Elgar, Stephen Cook, Hashim Amla, J.P. Duminy, Francois Du Plessis (Captain), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (Wicketkeeper), Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Duanne Oliver or Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada.

Sri Lanka’s previous 3-0 defeats -

Sri Lanka in India 3-0 in 1994

Sri Lanka in Australia 3-0 in 1995

Australia in Sri Lanka 3-0 in 2004

Sri Lanka in Australia 3-0 in 2012.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...