Sri Lanka have won five of the last seven test matches they have played at this ground.
The Sri Lankan batting looks slightly weaker due to the absence of Dinesh Chandimal.
South Africa have won their last three tests while Sri Lanka have been inconsistent in this format.
Our PickSouth Africa are favorites to win
Who Will Win South Africa vs Sri Lanka 1st Test?
South Africa are set to begin their tour of Sri Lanka with a two-match test series. The first test gets underway from July 12 at the Galle International Stadium. Live telecast is scheduled to commence at 10 AM local time each day of the match.
SL vs SA 1st Test: Where to Watch/Live Streaming
TV channels: Sony Six, Fox Sports, SuperSport, Sky Sports Cricket
Live Streaming: SonyLIV, Bet365, SuperSport Live, Now TV
Read on for team previews, betting odds, betting tips and match prediction for SL vs SA 1st Test...
Sri Lanka Team News & Playing 11
Their batting is going to depend largely on the likes of Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella. Mathews has scored the most test runs for Sri Lanka from the current squad and Mendis was their best batsman in the most recent series against the West Indies. Karunaratne has 7 hundreds and 14 fifties in red-ball cricket and he is another batsman who can make a strong contribution in this match. Suranga Lakmal and Rangana Herath will be the main threats in the Sri Lankan bowling attack. Herath is the highest wicket-taker for the side with 418 wickets in 90 tests while Lakmal with 114 wickets in 47 matches will be backed to strike early with the new ball. Lahiru Kumara was Sri Lanka's most successful bowler in the West Indies and the South African batsmen will also be wary of him.
Hashim Amla, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock are the big guns in this South African batting lineup. Amla is among the leading test run-getter for the side and he has warmed up with an impressive knock of 78* in the practice match. du Plessis also shone with the bat in that game and he looked quite comfortable facing the Sri Lankan spinners. Dean Elgar had a good last series against Australia, scoring 333 runs in four matches. Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander will be the go-to men for South Africa when it comes to bowling. Rabada is no. 1 in the ICC test bowler rankings while Philander who took 16 Australian wickets has the ability to swing both the new and old ball.
South Africa Predicted Playing 11
Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada
Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)
SL : W D L W D
SA : W W W L L
Sri Lanka vs South Africa Betting Odds
South Africa begin as the bookmakers' favorites to win this opening test match at odds of 2.40 on Betfair and 2 each on Betway and Bet365. Sri Lanka, despite playing at home, find themselves as the underdogs at a much higher price of 4.30 on Betfair and 4.50 each on Betway and Bet365. A drawn game currently stands at 2.75 on Betway, 2.87 on Bet365 and 2.80 on Betfair.
Sri Lanka vs South Africa Prediction
Since 2011, the Galle International Stadium has hosted 13 test matches out of which just one has ended in a stalemate. And with the pitch expected to become more bowler friendly on days four and five, a draw seems to be the least likely outcome in this match. Sri Lanka have the home advantage in their favor and they also have a pretty good test record at this venue with five wins in their last seven matches. However, they will be without their regular test captain Dinesh Chandimal who is serving suspension for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in the West Indies. South Africa's biggest challenge would be to tackle the Sri Lankan spinners on this spin-friendly surface and if they do that, they will really fancy their chances here. The Proteas may have been out of action for a while now, but we still feel they are better placed to start the series off with a win.
Final Verdict: Back South Africa to beat Sri Lanka in the first test at 2 each on Betway and Bet365 and 2.40 on Betfair.