Hashim Amla AB De Villiers South Africa ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
South Africa will ban on the batting of Hashim Amla and AB De Villiers to take them home against Sri Lanka in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 quarterfinalReuters

Whenever South Africa go into a knockout phase of a major ICC tournament, the inevitable "choke" word is bandied around. AB De Villiers and his band of seriously talented men will have to carry that albatross across their necks and try to fling it far into the distance never to return when they face Sri Lanka in the quarterfinals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 at the SCG.

"All I can say is we're not going to choke," said South Africa captain De Villiers. "We're just going to play a good game of cricket and come out on top. Simple."

So, the gauntlet has been thrown out by South Africa, and it is up to Sri Lanka, the ultimate big tournament team, to prey on their fears, and there will be plenty of them. If there is any side capable of taking advantage of even the slightest of weakness, it is Sri Lanka, with their fabulous three batsmen in tow.

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene will know this could quite possibly be their last outing in a Sri Lanka ODI shirt, and that will motivate them to achieve more – if that is possible -- come Wednesday, and if the South Africa bowlers are not at the top of their game, the contest might just run away from them in a hurry.

"Both teams will be nervous for sure, we all know that South Africans are a very hard team to beat, especially in this tournament," said Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews. "They've come out really hard and they have a good, balanced team.

"History is history. You can't really take anything from it. You've got to move on and look forward to the games that you play. We have to go out there and perform well to beat the South Africans."

Helping them perform well will be scores of Sri Lanka fans. The last time Sri Lanka played at the SCG – in a Pool A game against Australia – the Lankan fans almost outnumbered the Aussies, and this time, there is going to be little doubt over which team the majority of the crowd will be supporting.

"If you play at MCG or SCG it's like playing at home," added Mathews. "Most of the Sri Lankans across Australia or across the world -- they fly into Sydney and give immense support for us. So we really enjoy playing in Sydney.

"It's such a wonderful atmosphere and we invite all the Sri Lankans across Australia to come to Sydney and fill up those stands."

South Africa did not respond too well when they were up against a raucous Indian crowd in their match at the MCG earlier at this World Cup, and that will be another aspect that the Proteas have to overcome. As far as De Villiers is concerned, however, nothing is going to be a problem, just as long as they stick to their plans.

Lasith Malinga Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
Sri Lanka always seem to perform best on the big stageReuters

"We have certain strengths that we like to focus on," said the batting maestro. "Strike with a new ball, try and bowl them out, and if we bat first, try and get a big total and put them under pressure

"No one is going to ask us if we played exceptional cricket when we win the World Cup, we're just going to say that we won the Cup, so we're just going to find a way to win the game.

"We know exactly what's coming. It's an important game. It's exactly what we've been working for the last two to three years. We're very prepared for this and just ready to go."

Being eager and excited is one thing, and actually performing when the time comes is another. Sri Lanka will know if they win the toss, bat first and put a big score on the board, South Africa can wilt under the pressure.

However, give the Proteas even the slightest of leeway, such is the talent in their ranks, they will punish you.

Where to Watch Live

Get the Story on Sangakkara and Jayawardene HERE

Get the Full Match Scorecard HERE

Get the Details of the Match As It Happened HERE

The CWC quarterfinal is scheduled for a 2.30 pm local time (9 am IST, 3.30 am GMT, 10 pm ET) start with live coverage in India on the Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 3 along with the HD channels. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India on Starsports.com or Star Sports Live Pro.

Audience in Sri Lanka catch all the action live on SLRC and Star Sports with the live stream option on Star Sports online, while South Africa viewers can do the same on SuperSport and SuperSport Live. Audience in the US can watch the game live on TV on ESPN, while the action can be live streamed on ESPN CricketViewers in the UK can watch the match live on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Go.

Australia viewers can do so on Channel 9 and Fox Sports. The match can also be watched online on Foxtel and Cricket Australia Live, with the same going in New Zealand on Sky TV and Sky Go NZ. Audience in the Middle East can watch the quarterfinal match live on OSN and OSN Live.

Team news: South Africa: Faf Du Plessis is expected to return to the team, after missing the last game with a back injury. South Africa will have to choose two players out of Quinton De Kock, Rilee Rossouw and Farhaan Behardien.

Sri Lanka: Rangana Herath has a 50-50 chance of playing according to Mathews. The left-arm spinner has been sidelined for much of this World Cup with an injury to his finger. "Still in our squad we have Sachithra Senanayake and Seekkuge Prasanna," said Mathews when asked about Herath's status. "Sachithra is a very experienced bowler, so we can use him at any time. But we will wait on Rangana and give it another day to see if he heals well enough." Well, he will not play, as Sri Lanka replaced Herath in the squad with Tharindu Kaushal just a few hours before the quarterfinal.

Expected lineups: South Africa: Quinton De Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, AB De Villiers (capt), David Miller, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.

Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thirimanne, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews (capt), Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Dushmanth Chameera.

Also read