SA are so confident of beating Sri Lanka they have handed the visitors the best chance to turn the narrative in their favour. That is what it means to play the first Test at Kingsmead‚ the only ground in SA where the Lankans have won‚ and where the South Africans have their worst record on home soil. But such is the sorry state in which the Lankans have arrived that it is difficult to imagine them playing anything like competitive cricket in the series which starts on Wednesday. The South Africans face tough choices‚ all of them rooted in positivity. They will welcome back Keshav Maharaj‚ who was left out for two of the three Tests of a series against Pakistan that was played on seaming pitches. But that means rebalancing a team who beat Pakistan 3-0. The Lankans face a significantly less rosy prospect: to find a way to not be humiliated despite turning up with a new captain‚ a new selection committee who have sharply different ideas and have picked four uncapped players in the squa...

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