Dale Steyn
South Africa's Dale Steyn celebrates with captain Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers.Reuters

Sri Lanka will face South African at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in a bid to level the two-match series on Thursday, after losing the first Test at Galle.

Unlike the Galle pitch, picking wickets at the SSC is going to be hard and getting a result even harder. The last three Tests here ended in a draw and with Lanka looking to square off the series, these are not good stats for the hosts.

The SSC pitch could provide assistance to the seamers in the first session and turn later in the game. But with the Islanders requiring a win, the groundsmen, perhaps, will prepare a pitch that will offer some turn.

"In the first hour and a half here the ball swings," pacer Suranga Lakmal said. "We're hoping to make the most of that. Getting as many wickets as possible in the morning session is key I think."

Meanwhile, already down in the series, the Islanders received another setback as seamer Shaminda Eranga was ruled out of the match. He only bowled nine overs, before splitting the webbing in his right hand. Pacer Dhammika Prasad will replace him in the playing XI.

Lanka's main problem rests with the middle-order, which flattered to deceive against Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in the second innings.

Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews failed to show any resistance in front of Steyn's pace and control.

Meanwhile, Proteas vice-captain AB de Villiers is unlikely to keep wickets and Quinton de Kock, who impressed in last game, will again stand behind the stumps.

The stylish right-hander has recovered from a hamstring niggle that he was troubled with ahead of the series opener but has picked a long-term back issue, which could force him to give up wicketkeeping in Tests.

"In the last game I had that hammy issue. That's sort of recovered, but my back's always been an issue," de Villiers said. "It's difficult to take on the gloves, especially keeping in mind that I haven't kept for six or seven months now.

"So, with that injury and a two-day turnaround after one day off, for me to get into shape with my gloves on would be a little bit unfair with my back."

South Africa skipper Hashim Amla is also hopeful that leg-spinner Imran Tahir will able to stamp his mark on the second Test.

"Test cricket is a challenging place. I'm sure he will come good," Amla said. "It just takes a few good performances. He is one of the most highly skilled leg-spinners in the world."

Expected lineups: Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews (capt), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath and Suranga Lakmal

South Africa: Alviro Peterson, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla (capt), AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir

Where to Watch Live:

The second Test is scheduled for 10:00 am local (10:00 am IST, 4:30 am GMT) start with live coverage on Ten Cricket and Ten HD in India. Catch ball-by-ball update of the match online HERE. Catch the action live on TV on Ten Sports in Sri Lanka, while viewers can also live stream the action HERE.

Viewers in the US can watch the game Live on Willow TV while the match can also be live streamed HERE. Watch the match in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa on SuperSport and live online HERE.

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