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ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Preview: Sri Lanka vs South Africa

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 3 June 2017, 11:20 IST
Photo: ANI

ICC number one ODI team South Africa will take on Sri Lanka in the first Group B match of the Champions Trophy at the Oval, London on 3 June.

Lankan team, which was adjusted a joint-winner in 2002 with India, is being considered as underdogs in the tournament. It will most likely play without their captain Angelo Mathews who is nursing a calf injury. Upul Tharanga is on stand-by to lead Sri Lanka in Mathews' absence.

Sri Lanka has struggled of late, and not just against South Africa. Since the start of 2016, Sri Lanka has played 27 ODIs, winning seven and losing 15. The Asian team also lost both its warm-up games, to Australia and New Zealand.

On the other hand, Proteas, who are coming into the tournament after suffering a series loss against England, will look to come out with a much-improved performance and live up to the expectations which people have from the number one ranked side.

The AB de Villiers -led side slumped to a 1-2 defeat to England in the three-match ODI series after two close matches went the hosts' way while they were humbled in the final game.

"Sri Lanka always play well in these tournaments. We're well aware of that, and they deserve our respect. They have a lot of match-winners on their team," said De Villiers ahead of the clash.

Skipper AB de Villiers has already insisted that he is satisfied with his team's preparation for the Champions Trophy and are ready to take up the challenge.

The Proteas will be heading into the contest as firm favourites, having won their last seven consecutive ODIs against Sri Lanka, including a 5-0 whitewash earlier in 2017.

The last time South Africa took on Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy was in 2009 in Centurion and Sri Lanka notched up a 55-run win.

Squads

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Upul Tharanga (vice-capt), Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Nuwan Kulasekera, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Seekkuge Prasanna.

South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock(w), Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(c), Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Farhaan Behardien, Morne Morkel

 

- - With ANI inputs

First published: 3 June 2017, 11:20 IST
 
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