Alright! It is down to the Super10 stage and super 10 teams of the cricket world will be in business now to bring the laurels home. Action in group 1 of the ICC World T20 2014 kicks off with a game between Sri Lanka and South Africa. (Read: World T20: The men behind the stumps)
Sri Lanka has heavy-duty spin armoury and on Bangladeshi surface it is an asset, besides it they also have a fast bowler Lasith Malinga who is an asset on any track. Add to it the classy batting of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara augmented further with stroke play of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka is one such team or lucky team to have every combination spot on, they are the impeccable texture.
South Africa where ever you look has those skilfully delighted players who every now and then impress you with their routines on the cricket field. AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy and Dale Steyn are all specimens of it. South Africa has been one of the best cricketing nations yet when it comes to play on a big stage, they somehow become incongruous mishmash of cricketing geniuses.
Sri Lanka holds the upper hand as they have a well-blended bowling and batting attack but South Africa is not one of those teams to be easily shrugged off. Both teams have met four times in T20 format and Proteas have won three games with one game going Sri Lanka’s way.
South Africa is an unsettled lot as they have injury concerns, Captain Faf du Plessis and Star fast bowler Dale Steyn are both unfit, decision on them will be taken after they pass a fitness test before the match. Sri Lanka seems to be the more of stable among the two. Both the teams will be on their toes to start tournament with a win under their belt and the contest between the two promises to be a belter.
Impact Players: Lasith Malinga undoubtedly is a game changing player Sri Lanka has, his Yorkers at the death can be the striking difference between the two sides. For South Africa David Miller is one such prospect who just like Malinga can change the game head on, but only difference is Miller does it with the bat, he is a powerful striker Proteas have in their squad.
Weak Link: Spin attack for South Africa can be a worrying factor as Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso have not played much of a T20 cricket. For Sri Lanka second seam option is vulnerable Nuwaan Kulasekara has not been so impressive in shorter format and Suranga Lakmal is relatively inexperienced.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwaan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Seekuge Prasanna, Rangana Herath.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Beuran Hendricks, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.