Sri Lanka have won the toss and have asked the Proteas to bat in their Champions Trophy opener at the Oval.
The first step is out of the way, and it’s good news against Sri Lanka, on a track that’s going to favour the bowlers this morning. Upul Tharanga made no hesitation in opting to bowl first, but it shouldn’t stop the Proteas from getting over the first hurdle without any major concerns.
After all, Sri Lanka are a side they beat comfortably in the 2015 World Cup, as well as thrashing them 5-0 earlier in the year. To add to that, the islanders are without their skipper Angelo Mathews, who didn’t make it through a late fitness test.
The selection debate has finally been settled in the Proteas tail, and as De Villiers hinted in his press conference on Friday, Morne Morkel has been selected.
The conditions here at the Oval are overcast, but slightly humid and warm, with the sun expected to break through in full force as the day wears on. The previous match at the Oval between England and Bangladesh was a run-fest, but the groundsman has informed us not to expect as many runs today.
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South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Imran Tahir
Sri Lanka: 1 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 2 Upul Tharanga (capt), 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Asela Gunaratne, 6 Chamara Kapugedara, 7 Kusal Perera, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lakshan Sandakan, 11 Lasith Malinga
Click here to read Tom Sizeland’s preview exclusively from London.
Photo: Harry Trump/Getty Images