Sri Lanka, in their home conditions, have always been good. Yet again, they will get an opportunity to deliver on home turf and enthrall fans in ICC World Twenty20 2012. They are in Group C with South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Mahela Jayawardene-led hosts and the Proteas should walk into the Super Eight stage. But Zimbabwe have the ability to spoil one of the teams chances.
Group C Preview
Group C Teams with seedings. Top two progress to Super Eight
Sri Lanka (C1)
South Africa (C2)
Super Eight Groups: Group 1: A1, B2, C1, D2. Group 2: A2, B1, C2, D1
Note: If the third third team in the group knocks one of the top two seeded teams out, it will take the place of the team it replaced. (Example: If Zimbabwe replace South Africa, then they will be C2 in Super Eight)
Group C Fixtures
Tuesday September 18, 19:30 IST, Sri Lanka Vs Zimbabwe, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota
Thursday September 20, 19:30 IST, South Africa v Zimbabwe, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota
Saturday September 22 15:30 IST, Sri Lanka Vs South Africa, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota
Sri Lanka (No. 3 in ICC T20 Rankings, yet to win World T20 trophy)
Sri Lanka squad: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Akila Dananjaya, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Jeewan Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne.
Strengths: Playing in home conditions is a big advantage for Sri Lanka. They have always done well at home. Lasith Malinga's yorkers, Tillakaratne Dilshan's quick accumulation of runs, the spin of Ajantha Mendis and cool captaincy of Mahela Jayawardene count as other advantages. Also Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal provided stability to batting. Watch out for Thisara Perera's big shots.
Weaknesses: Malinga's recent poor form a worry. Pressure from home fans could have a negative impact on performance.
Key players: Lasith Malinga, Dilshan, Ajantha Mendis, Perera, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Mathews.
South Africa (No. 2 in ICC T20 Rankings, no world trophy so far)
South Africa squad: AB de Villiers (captain and wicketkeeper), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Johan Botha, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Jacques Kallis, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Strengths: Pace of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. Batting power of AB de Villiers, Albie Morkel, all-round abilities of Jacques Kallis.
Weaknesses: History is against the Proteas. They have always flattered to deceive in global tournaments. Though the "chokers" tag is gone now, they might have to prove that they can excel at the world stage. Lack of quality spinners is another worry.
Key players: Steyn, De Villiers, Morkel brothers, Kallis.
Zimbabwe (No. 11 in ICC T20 Rankings, no global trophies)
Zimbabwe squad: Brendan Taylor (captain, wicketkeeper), Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura, Craig Ervine, Graeme Cremer, Ray Price, Kyle Jarvis, Chris Mpofu, Richard Muzhange, Brian Vitori, Prosper Utseya, Forster Mutizwa.
Strengths: Their ability to surprise. Nobody will ever forget how they stunned Australia in the inaugural World T20 in 2007. Brendan Taylor's batting and experience of left-arm spinner Ray Price.
Weaknesses: Tatenda Taibu, who has retired, will be missed. Lack of big names. Not much of international T20 experience.
Key players: Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Price.