Karunaratne on matching South Africa's seam bowling – "We're about equal if you look at pace"

Rare is the Sri Lankan captain that arrives on foreign soil with greater trust in his seam-bowling stocks than his batsmen. But two days out from the Boxing Day Test, that is the situation Dimuth Karunaratne felt he was in. For the first time in several years, Sri Lanka have an almost-complete set of quicks to choose from. There’s not a lot of experience there, but there is variety.

Lahiru Kumara perhaps has the greatest potential to change games in South Africa – his debut having been here in 2017. Both he and Dushmantha Chameera bowled at quicker than 145kph at times during the recent LPL. Sri Lanka also have left-arm swing bowler Vishwa Fernando and right-arm seamer Kasun Rajitha, both of whom contributed to Test victories in South Africa last year.

The only concern at present is about Suranga Lakmal, who is the leader of the seam attack and Sri Lanka’s most-consistent bowler. He’s picked up a niggle ahead of the first Test and is not sure to play. But even without him, Sri Lanka can field a good attack, Karunaratne said. If only the batting could come good…

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