South Africa and Sri Lanka will face off each other in their opening encounter to be played at Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi on 7th October 2023. Both teams would look for a good start to the tournament with a good performance.
It promises to be an exciting match as South Africa is coming off with a 3-2 series win over Australia at home while Sri Lanka is struggling with injuries as Hasaranga, Chameera has been ruled out of the tournament. Maheesh Theekshana will not feature in the opening match due to an injury which is a massive blow for the Lankan team.
Here we look at the 5 Players To Watch Out for
- Quinton de Kock
The wicketkeeper batter Quinton de Kock will play a key role for South Africa to provide an attacking start in the first 10 overs. He has batted in 24 One-day internationals against Sri Lanka in One-day international format with the best score of 128 at an average of 46.79.
De Kock can prove his worth by putting pressure on the bowlers and would look to do the same in the match against Sri Lanka. His ability to play pacers well will create an impact on opponents. If the wicketkeeper batter could provide a superb start, then, South Africa registers a victory while batting first or chasing down the target on a pitch that is suitable for the batters.
- Pathum Nissanka
The right-handed batter Pathum Nissanka will also play a key role for Sri Lanka while opening the innings. He has not played a single One-day international match against South Africa.
Nissanka proved his worth with some lovely shots that put pressure on the bowlers. He would look to do the same in the first 10 overs keeping the momentum going which would put pressure on South African bowlers. His batting would help Sri Lanka score quickly in the first 10 overs and make sure that they post a decent total while batting first or chasing down the target easily.
- Heinrich Klassen
The right-handed explosive batter Heinrich Klassen has been in excellent form of late with some brilliant knocks during recent times. He can put the bowlers under immense pressure on bowlers, especially spinners. Klassen posted his highest One-day international score during the 4th One-day international against Australia at Centurion.
His role is to provide the impetus if top order clicks and help South Africa post a decent total or chase down the target. His record against Sri Lanka in One-day internationals has been average with the best score of 43 at an average of 24.20. Klassen would look to improve the record against them and help South Africa win the encounter.
- Dunith Wellage
The 20-year-old spinner Dunith Wellage has a huge role to play with both bat and ball. He performed brilliantly in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2023 where he grabbed 5 wickets for 40 runs in the match against India.
Playing his first World Cup match, Wellage would look to put on an excellent display of bowling in the middle overs and keep the momentum going for Sri Lanka picking up wickets. In the batting department, Wellage would create an impact coming lower down the order and make sure that Sri Lanka registered victory either batting first or chasing down the target.
- Kagiso Rabada
The South African pacer Kagiso Rabada will have the additional responsibility of showcasing his class with bowling as there will be no Anrich Nortje in the bowling department.
Rabada has a decent record in One-day internationals against Sri Lanka in One-day internationals with 13 wickets from 4 innings at an economy of 2 runs per over. He would be key to providing early breakthroughs and making sure that South Africa restricts Sri Lanka.
His ability to trouble the batters with pace and bounce makes him a tough bowler to face. Rabada would be eager with a superb bowling effort against Sri Lanka.