Test Match preview thoughts ahead of Day 2: 2020-21 South Africa v Sri Lanka Series


South Africa will return to the middle with the bat at 148-1. They only need 9 runs to meet the run trail. And go from there by planning to extend their lead v Sri Lanka.

We are more than convinced that Dean Elgar will escape the nervous 90s. And secure his Test 100 today. He is batting so well throughout yesterday afternoon. The right shots is there down low to keep his wicket. That will be the gameplan to not just make up his personal achievement.

But also wanting to lift the team up. And build a big lead that will make SL hard to chase. Rassie Van Der Dussen on the other hand did well to back Dean up. He just entered the 40 run mark. Rassie has to keep what he did yesterday. So the half-ton can come his way. Before having a stab towards cementing a 1st Test 100.

They have a good enough batting line-up at least in the Top 7. Should Sri Lanka dismiss either Elgar or Rassie out. Faf Du Plessis came off from a decent near double ton. He will look to destruct them once more. Quinton De Kock can score runs quickly. And can be dynamic as proved before. But needs to bounce back after scoring just 18 in the 1st Test.

I already talked about Temba Bavuma plenty of times now. He can tame the old ball at No.6 having scored 71 runs last week. And we know Wiaan Mulder & Keshav Maharaj are all-rounders. They can both be handy with the runs. As long as they have the movement right. And not reach out for the ball. That will help them keep their game simple. So the rewards will come to them in the long run. Such as scoring a quickfire 30-40-50 run mark.

Add another 200+ runs will be safe for South Africa to declare. They got all day to take their time. Then get their bowlers ready in Day 3. And do some damage to the Sri Lankan batting card. So they can win the Test series at home since 2016-17.

Sri Lanka needs to see more of what Asitha Fernando did yesterday. Nothing much really apart from his lone scalp on Aiden Markram. Just basically poor balls & not enough spice. It is hard to get over a hamstring crisis that occurred last week.

But they can make miracles and have the quick turnaround. Rest is already taken from overnight. Sri Lanka can fire up again. And add some good speed + length to dismiss Elgar or Rassie. So they should not change what works for them. And limit the opposition run total in the 2nd innings.

It will be the only way to make their batting line-up happy. That is where Sri Lanka is best when you look some experience on paper. It gave South Africa a hard time in Day of the 1st Test. Only for the injuries to ruin this good start. But they got to take accountability of their poor form yesterday. Scoring 150 is not good.

And come back better from behind this time. A win here in Johannesburg is going to stop South Africa from winning this series. It is because SL are the defending winners right now. But not for long if they lose/draw this game with 4 days left. Then the road gets tougher at home. They got 2 Tests v England for the 2nd 1/2 of January.

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