The Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi will host the opening match of the Cricket World Cup between South Africa and Sri Lanka on Saturday, 7th October.
South Africa and Sri Lanka are both eager to kick off their World Cup campaign on a high note. South Africa, despite a narrow defeat to New Zealand in a high-scoring warm-up match, showed promising signs of form. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, demonstrated their batting prowess in a loss against Afghanistan.
Sri Lanka will feel the absence of their ace spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, but they are optimistic that young talents like Dunith Wellalage and Matheesha Pathirana will rise to the occasion. Both teams boast strong batting line-ups, suggesting another run-fest could be in store in Delhi.
Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lizaad Williams.
Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Mendis (vc), Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Lahiru Kumara, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Dilshan Madushanka, Dushan Hemantha.
Players to Watch:
South Africa – Kagiso Rabada:
With Anrich Nortje sidelined due to injury, Kagiso Rabada will be the key paceman for South Africa. Known for his consistency and ability to take early wickets, Rabada’s performance could be a game-changer for his team.
Sri Lanka – Maheesh Theekshana:
In the absence of Wanindu Hasaranga, Sri Lanka’s hopes will be pinned on Maheesh Theekshana and Dunith Wellalage. Theekshana, who has been impressive in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament, is expected to exploit the conditions in the World Cup. If Sri Lanka’s pacers can make early inroads, Theekshana could add to the pressure on the opposition during the middle overs.