Ahead of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa, Sri Lankan skipper, Dimuth Karunaratne has opined that his team is stronger than there were on their previous tour against the same opposition, especially in the pace bowling department. The two-Test match series begins on 26th December in Centurion followed by the second Test in Johannesburg.
In 2019, under Dimuth Karunaratne, who was the newly appointed captain, Sri Lanka defeated – whitewashed – the Proteas in their own backyard in a Test series; Sri Lanka did what no Asian team has done in 27 years in South Africa since their re-admission – not even their giant neighbours, India.
If you look at fast bowlers we’re about equal to South Africa: Dimuth Karunaratne
Karunaratne believes that the pacers are going to be in action in both the Test matches as the pitches will have pace and bounce like has been the case in the matches in South Africa in the past few years. He feels that his side is strengthened in the pace department by the inclusion of Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera, who were not present last year.
As quoted by Sportskeeda, Dimuth Karunaratne said, “We’re going to need the fast bowlers at Centurion and Wanderers. Last time we came to South Africa we didn’t have many options – Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera weren’t here.”
The Sri Lankan skipper says that both the team are matched in pace bowling departments, hence the batsmen will make the difference. The southpaw reckons that his batsmen will need to step up – take inspiration from their previous performances – to get on top of Quinton de Kock‘s side.
“This time, we do have that strength, and we will need it if the opposition thinks that we don’t have a lot of pace or bounce in our team, which emboldens them to use their conditions even more against us. But on this tour, we have fast bowlers, and if you look at pace, we’re about equal. I think the batsmen will be the difference. Whoever is the better batting side has a good chance of winning the series.” the 32-year-old added.