AB’S itching to break hoodoo in Sri Lanka
Three-pronged spin attack will be backed to the hilt by Proteas skipper
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.”
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.
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.