Imran Tahir, South Africa, Sri Lanka, ICC Champions Trophy 2017, teams
Imran Tahir is fit and ready to wreak havoc on Sri LankaGareth Copley/Getty Images

AB De Villiers and South Africa begin their ICC Champions Trophy campaign against Sri Lanka with the pressure to win, and win big. While there were doubts over the fitness of a few of their key players, it looks like the Proteas are all set to go into this CT 2017 Group B match with a full-strength team.

Imran Tahir, South Africa's key leg-spinner, the one who takes all those wickets in the middle overs, missed two games in the three-match ODI series against England, but the always-entertaining bowler has now recovered from the hamstring problem and is all set to feature against Sri Lanka.

Along with Tahir, David Miller also had a bit of an injury issue, but again, the left-hander has recovered in time and is all set to take his place in the South Africa playing XI.

What the Proteas need to figure out is their bowling combination, further complicated by the fact that they need to meet the quota criteria.

De Villiers said he is keen to find a place for Morne Morkel in the side, but then the question would be which player makes way.

It does look like that player will have to be Wayne Parnell, despite the left-armer impressing against England. Parnell has looked good in recent times and also gives South Africa a much better batting option, so it won't be an easy decision to make.

Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka, captain, South Africa, CT 2017
Angelo Mathews is expected to miss the opening match through injuryPhilip Brown/Getty Images

Sri Lanka could very well be without their captain Angelo Mathews for their first Champions Trophy 2017 match, with the veteran struggling with a calf injury.

The injury-prone Mathews will undergo a fitness test before the start of the match, and the feeling is he is extremely unlikely to play, with Upul Tharanga then expected to stand in as captain, and even if he does make it, it will be as a pure batsman.

Sri Lanka will take that last option gladly, because what they need is experience.

Lasith Malinga will be key to that, while Nuwan Kulasekara might also get into the playing XI owing to that reason at the expense of Suranga Lakmal.

Expected playing XI:

South Africa: Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis, AB De Villiers (C), JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Imran Tahir.


Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (C), Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Asela Gunaratne, Kusal Perera, Chamara Kapugedera, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lakshan Sandikan, Lasith Malinga.