AB’S itch­ing to break hoodoo in Sri Lanka

Three-pronged spin at­tack will be backed to the hilt by Proteas skip­per

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - LUNGANI ZAMA

THE last time the Proteas top­pled Sri Lanka at home in a 50over in­ter­na­tional was on Septem­ber 2, 1993, when they shot them out for 98, hav­ing posted 222/7 them­selves.

Ke­pler Wes­sels, now in the com­men­tary box, was the tour­ing cap­tain, while Al­lan Don­ald, now the re­spected bowl­ing coach, was charg­ing in, with

The Sri Lankans look set to wel­come Tillekeratne Dil­shan back into a side that will be led by their youngest cap­tain, in Di­nesh Chandi­mal.

“I’m gen­uinely happy about this hon­our that has been be­stowed on me,” Chandi­mal beamed yes­ter­day.

“I’m not too sure what the com­po­si­tion of the South African team will be, but I played against them in the warm-up game, and they pro­vided a great chal­lenge,” he added.

“I’m very happy to have three guys in the team who have cap­tained pre­vi­ously, and I will draw on their ex­pe­ri­ence. I look for­ward to a com­pet­i­tive se­ries.”

Domingo also sought to put an end to the spec­u­la­tion sur­round­ing his most ex­pe­ri­enced fast bowlers. “In terms of Morné (Morkel), it wasn’t as se­ri­ous as it has been made out to be in some quar­ters. It was just a pre­cau­tion to take him off in the warm-up game. We ob­vi­ously want him at his best for th­ese matches, as well as the sum­mer to come,” Domingo ex­plained.

“We will keep giv­ing him treat­ment, and we will see how he stands in the morn­ing.”

The Proteas coach also clar- ified that Lon­wabo Tsot­sobe’s ab­sence dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s warm-up match had noth­ing to do with his sub­se­quent an­kle in­jury, but rather was down to a tac­ti­cal ap­proach.

“We just felt that we were bet­ter; our stronger side was go­ing in with the spin­ning op­tions, as well as a bit of bounce up front,” he ex­plained.

In the event that Morkel doesn’t take his place in the side, Domingo con­firmed that Cape Co­bras seamer Rory Klein­veldt would slot in.

“Rory is the next guy in line, and he has played a lot of cricket in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions. We are com­fort­able with him com­ing into the team if Morne doesn’t make it.”

De Vil­liers echoed those sen­ti­ments, say­ing that the likes of Klein­veldt and Chris Mor­ris would rel­ish the chance to lead the at­tack.

“Rory is ex­pe­ri­enced, and Chris has looked the part. He is a very promis­ing bowler, with a lot of po­ten­tial. It will be a great ex­pe­ri­ence for them, and they have the op­por­tu­nity to win a few games for us.”

De Vil­liers also ex­pressed his full con­fi­dence in his spin­ners.

“We’ve got world-class spin­ners in the team... they seem to have done the busi­ness (re­cently). We will prob­a­bly go with two front-line spin­ners, plus JP Du­miny, which is a bit new in this team,” said De Vil­liers.

De Vil­liers also chal­lenged his team to restore their billing as the best field­ing side in the world. “I think Faf du Plessis, when fully fit, is def­i­nitely the best in the world. But I’d like to see us as a team get back there. We’ve got the po­ten­tial, but it’s a mat­ter of go­ing out there and do­ing it.”

GALLO IM­AGES

NEW ROLE: Rory Klein­veldt will be drafted into the at­tack for the Proteas if Morné Morkel is not fit to open the at­tack in the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo. With three spinnners in the side, Klein­veldt would of­fer a change of pace – plenty of it.

GETTY IM­AGES

WEAV­ING HIS MAGIC: Graeme Swann cel­e­brates af­ter tak­ing the wicket of Ryan Har­ris on day two of the sec­ond Ashes Test at Lord’s yes­ter­day.

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