South Africa news June 27, 2014

Point to prove in SL - Duminy

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Even though next year's World Cup will be played in conditions completely different to what South Africa will experience from next week, they head to Sri Lanka with a "point to prove", according to JP Duminy. This time last year, South Africa were thumped 4-1 in an ODI series on the island- their biggest defeat in a bilateral series away from home since 2004 in New Zealand- and the memory of that humbling still stings.

"It is going to be a tough ask for us but I am confident we can make some inroads. We've got a nice squad going there. Because we are starting with one-dayers, it's important for us to start well," Duminy said at South Africa's fitness camp in Pretoria last week.

The magnitude of the task is not lost on Duminy. South Africa have only won two of the 16 ODIs they have played in Sri Lanka, one in 1993 and the other 20 years later in 2013. They have the same number of Test victories, although from fewer fixtures, 10. Sri Lanka is also the last place where South Africa lost a Test series away from home, eight years ago.

"Last year we didn't have Test matches there so that's going to be an important aspect for us especially because we've lost the No.1 Test ranking. We have a bit of a point to prove in getting that back," Duminy said.

South Africa slipped a fraction below Australia when the ICC's annual rankings update was done in May, but the team can regain their crown with a 1-0 win over Sri Lanka. Given Sri Lanka's excellent form in 2014 and that South Africa's new-look team will be without the experience of Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis, Duminy expects people to underestimate South Africa's chances of doing that and he thinks it could be just what the they need to spring a surprise.

"It's a great thing if teams think that we are vulnerable. If they have that sort of mindset coming into the game, it gives us an opportunity to prove them wrong."

With South Africa anxious to show what they are capable of, it will come as good news to them that conditions in Sri Lanka have changed from the last time South Africa played Test cricket there. The absence of Muttiah Muralitharan has lessened the need for the raging turner and with Sri Lanka's pace battery promising much, the pitches may be less difficult for South Africa to negotiate.

That will be particularly good news for Duminy, who was one of the batsman who struggled against spin early in his career but is something he feels he has overcome.

"Having that spin issue is something I have put behind me. I have improved a lot," he said. "I can't pinpoint exactly what the technical issue was because it has been three or four years but I am confident facing spin now. I have got good game plans facing spinners. The preparation has been important for me. And I suppose the experience in the IPL has helped as well because I was able to play in sub-continental conditions and face different kinds of spinners."

Instead, Duminy will hope to put a positive spin on the art, with his bowling. Although South Africa have two specialist spinners in their squad in Imran Tahir and Dane Piedt, it is likely that only one will feature in the starting XI, with Duminy as the back-up. "My bowling has been going really well especially from a shorter format point of view, and it is about contributing a lot more, especially in Tests," he said.

Duminy may even find himself batting a place higher than his usal No.7, with Dean Elgar moving up to open and the possibility of an additional bowler being included.

"If the opportunity to bat higher presents itself, I am not going to say no but for now I am happy to be in the side and settled in the team wherever I bat.

"Batting at No.7 is a case of marshalling that lower order but having Vernon [Philander] at No.8 has been great for South African cricket. He is now ranked the No.1 all-rounder in the world and to have him at No.8 and Dale at No.9 - he's no mug with the bat, has been a great help. It's not that you have to marshal them too much, it is just a case of holding up your end and making sure you understand that it's a partnership."

Before Duminy can get to that, he will focus on the three ODIs, for which South Africa will have a full week to prepare for what will be a season focused on the fifty-over game. South Africa have scheduled 24 ODIs before next year's World Cup and will use them to fine-tune combinations and settle into what coach Russell Domingo has termed a "pattern of play," as their search for ICC silverware continues.

Duminy does not think there is that much work to be done before they are ready for the big event. "We are pretty settled in terms of the top order. It's just about getting the combinations right in the middle to lower order. The guys have a fair idea of where we want to go," he said. "The key is to understand what your end goal is but also identifying what your short goals are and make sure you meet them leading up to the end goal, which is winning the fifty-over World Cup. If we can meet short-term goals, we will give ourselves a good chance."

If South Africa can start with victory in the one place where it has largely eluded them, Duminy will be satisfied that at least one point has been proven along the way.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sidh78 on July 4, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    Sl pitches are flatest in the world.thats why above 900 runs in a inning scored in SL.wow!! also even bangaladesh batsmans score near 600 runs in a inning in SL.this shows the quality of pitches in SL.thats why most test matches in sl ended in draw.but indian pitches are spining and turning but initialy good for batting & fast seam bowling.thats why in last 30 test matches played in india, 27 matches gave result.

  • on June 30, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    Sri Lanka must be itching to get out and thrash the Proteas attack during the ODIs. Vernon Philander will be cannon fodder for the Lankans. Without swing he is just an up and down bowler. Even Dale Steyn can prove to be expensive with his length balls during death overs in ODIs. Recently, MSD, Yusuf Pathan and his very own countryman Ab de villiers had feasted on his bowling. Even in the tests, since the South Africans lack a good spinner and are poor exponents of reverse swing, they will struggle. The tests will be a true test for the likes of Vernon Philander. I am looking forward to a sound thrashing of the South Africans in the ODIs.

  • ITJOBSUCKS on June 30, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    @Dyland Don Paul I looked into the stats, it says that SL has pathetic against Ind everwhere esp in AUS, ENG & SA!!!

  • on June 30, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    @ITJOBSUCKS - India has beaten Sri Lanka during the pass 5-6 years n before that India got thrashed by SL in every & any country they played. But past is past. SL is once more the no 1 team in Asia. Well England thrashed India in India, I guess this discussion was bought up by you as a discussion point for the articles posted regarding the upcoming England tour. This SL team will change all these performances of the past. You only need to reflect back a couple of months to realise that(WT20 final)

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 30, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    Why can't organize 3 Test match series? SL should not complain that SL gets fewer tests when they do not want to organize 3 test matches. If they do Kumar can break Sachin's records before Kumar retires.

  • ITJOBSUCKS on June 30, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    I wouldn't be astonished if SA were to beat SL this time around as Ind has beaten SL in their own backyard 4/ 5 times in the last 5-6yrs.....Even Pak & NZ have beaten SL in SL recently.....Plus pitches are pretty flat nowadays in SL!!! If Amla & ABD were to fire, then SA would win the series!!!

  • dunger.bob on June 30, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    On behalf of all the ordinary cricket fans in Australia, I'd like to say 'don't blame us' for this Big 3 stuff. Cricket Australia didn't consult us before they jumped on the band wagon. Believe me, I was just as shocked and appalled when the news broke as anyone from SA, SL the Windies or anywhere.

    I've rarely seen so much mutual respect and admiration from two sets of cricket fans soon to be engaged in a series as you guys. I've got to say, as an Aussie, it's kind of sickening ... lol, just kidding. It is good to see. I just wonder how long it's going to last once the battle actually commences. .. I said 3 days, but we'll see. Once again, good luck to everyone. I'm not even involved directly but I'm looking forward to this one.

  • ksquared on June 30, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa the pitches would not be quite the dust bowls we see in IND but certainly will be spin friendly but fast bowlers would always enjoy bowling in the first and probably the morning session of the second especially at the SSC. It seems Galle has a new relaid pitch so we cannot predict what it will be like. Galle in the past has always been spin friendly and it some times spun from the first day but I don't expect it to this time. As far as DRS goes I hope they use it but with the state of SLC with its finances in disarray I really don't see them paying for the whole package ie. snicko,hotspot,hawkeye etc. All in all it will be an interesting series

  • TommytuckerSaffa on June 29, 2014, 21:50 GMT

    Dear Sri Lankan fans, please give us some insights into pitch conditions - will you prepare dust-bowls like India does or will it be different? I have heard that Sri Lankan cricket board has introduced some pacier tracks so that the players are more familiar with pace and bounce - hence Sri Lankans recent success in England. India still prepare dust-bowls it seems.

    I think Sri Lanka is more successful overseas there days than India, eventhough they have a much smaller population. Also they are coming off the high of T20 World cup and beating england.

    Also will DRS be used or is Sri Lanka against that?? cricinfo, please post. I dont know why I have to keep repeating it.

  • Greatest_Game on June 29, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    @ Tommy Tucker wrote "Sri Lanka are my favourite Asian team. Their fans are honourable and not arrogant like some other countries we know…"

    I heartily second that.

    After the World T20 final my family thought my celebrations were insane. (As 'Americans:" they think I'm insane to follow a game in which, after 5 days, a draw is a perfectly acceptable, even honorable result. Quite beyond their understanding!)

    The incredible irony when Herath, walked, facing Stuart "I never walk" Broad, had me yelling "SEE - THAT is the true Spirit of Cricket!!!" When Pradeep's appeal overturned that bad LBW decision, keeping SL alive (& denying Broad a wicket) I roared! When his last ball edge fell short, I went so crazy my wife brought me Chamomile tea to calm me down.

    When Herath safely held Anderson's catch off Eranga - that monumental catch - she was thought I would have a heart attack.

    Yeah - Saffas around the world support SL! We both may not be 'Big 3' - we just beat them at cricket!

  • sidh78 on July 4, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    Sl pitches are flatest in the world.thats why above 900 runs in a inning scored in SL.wow!! also even bangaladesh batsmans score near 600 runs in a inning in SL.this shows the quality of pitches in SL.thats why most test matches in sl ended in draw.but indian pitches are spining and turning but initialy good for batting & fast seam bowling.thats why in last 30 test matches played in india, 27 matches gave result.

  • on June 30, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    Sri Lanka must be itching to get out and thrash the Proteas attack during the ODIs. Vernon Philander will be cannon fodder for the Lankans. Without swing he is just an up and down bowler. Even Dale Steyn can prove to be expensive with his length balls during death overs in ODIs. Recently, MSD, Yusuf Pathan and his very own countryman Ab de villiers had feasted on his bowling. Even in the tests, since the South Africans lack a good spinner and are poor exponents of reverse swing, they will struggle. The tests will be a true test for the likes of Vernon Philander. I am looking forward to a sound thrashing of the South Africans in the ODIs.

  • ITJOBSUCKS on June 30, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    @Dyland Don Paul I looked into the stats, it says that SL has pathetic against Ind everwhere esp in AUS, ENG & SA!!!

  • on June 30, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    @ITJOBSUCKS - India has beaten Sri Lanka during the pass 5-6 years n before that India got thrashed by SL in every & any country they played. But past is past. SL is once more the no 1 team in Asia. Well England thrashed India in India, I guess this discussion was bought up by you as a discussion point for the articles posted regarding the upcoming England tour. This SL team will change all these performances of the past. You only need to reflect back a couple of months to realise that(WT20 final)

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 30, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    Why can't organize 3 Test match series? SL should not complain that SL gets fewer tests when they do not want to organize 3 test matches. If they do Kumar can break Sachin's records before Kumar retires.

  • ITJOBSUCKS on June 30, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    I wouldn't be astonished if SA were to beat SL this time around as Ind has beaten SL in their own backyard 4/ 5 times in the last 5-6yrs.....Even Pak & NZ have beaten SL in SL recently.....Plus pitches are pretty flat nowadays in SL!!! If Amla & ABD were to fire, then SA would win the series!!!

  • dunger.bob on June 30, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    On behalf of all the ordinary cricket fans in Australia, I'd like to say 'don't blame us' for this Big 3 stuff. Cricket Australia didn't consult us before they jumped on the band wagon. Believe me, I was just as shocked and appalled when the news broke as anyone from SA, SL the Windies or anywhere.

    I've rarely seen so much mutual respect and admiration from two sets of cricket fans soon to be engaged in a series as you guys. I've got to say, as an Aussie, it's kind of sickening ... lol, just kidding. It is good to see. I just wonder how long it's going to last once the battle actually commences. .. I said 3 days, but we'll see. Once again, good luck to everyone. I'm not even involved directly but I'm looking forward to this one.

  • ksquared on June 30, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa the pitches would not be quite the dust bowls we see in IND but certainly will be spin friendly but fast bowlers would always enjoy bowling in the first and probably the morning session of the second especially at the SSC. It seems Galle has a new relaid pitch so we cannot predict what it will be like. Galle in the past has always been spin friendly and it some times spun from the first day but I don't expect it to this time. As far as DRS goes I hope they use it but with the state of SLC with its finances in disarray I really don't see them paying for the whole package ie. snicko,hotspot,hawkeye etc. All in all it will be an interesting series

  • TommytuckerSaffa on June 29, 2014, 21:50 GMT

    Dear Sri Lankan fans, please give us some insights into pitch conditions - will you prepare dust-bowls like India does or will it be different? I have heard that Sri Lankan cricket board has introduced some pacier tracks so that the players are more familiar with pace and bounce - hence Sri Lankans recent success in England. India still prepare dust-bowls it seems.

    I think Sri Lanka is more successful overseas there days than India, eventhough they have a much smaller population. Also they are coming off the high of T20 World cup and beating england.

    Also will DRS be used or is Sri Lanka against that?? cricinfo, please post. I dont know why I have to keep repeating it.

  • Greatest_Game on June 29, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    @ Tommy Tucker wrote "Sri Lanka are my favourite Asian team. Their fans are honourable and not arrogant like some other countries we know…"

    I heartily second that.

    After the World T20 final my family thought my celebrations were insane. (As 'Americans:" they think I'm insane to follow a game in which, after 5 days, a draw is a perfectly acceptable, even honorable result. Quite beyond their understanding!)

    The incredible irony when Herath, walked, facing Stuart "I never walk" Broad, had me yelling "SEE - THAT is the true Spirit of Cricket!!!" When Pradeep's appeal overturned that bad LBW decision, keeping SL alive (& denying Broad a wicket) I roared! When his last ball edge fell short, I went so crazy my wife brought me Chamomile tea to calm me down.

    When Herath safely held Anderson's catch off Eranga - that monumental catch - she was thought I would have a heart attack.

    Yeah - Saffas around the world support SL! We both may not be 'Big 3' - we just beat them at cricket!

  • Greatest_Game on June 29, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    @ Blade-Runner. I hear you about SA in heat/humidity on slow, grippy tracks. Please - more warmups. However, this lot is much more familiar with these conditions than previous teams. Even the SA tracks for India & Aus were, oddly, more SC than SA. The 2013 SL ODIs, the UAE series v Pak, the WT20, & 7 years of IPL has broadened experience. India found that out in Durban!

    SA now have actual spin too! Tahir can be expensive, but is an attacking wicket taker: best in the WT20 (3-26 v SL;) played IPL 2nd half with the 4th best SR (10 + overs;) In UAE he rattled Pak: 5-32 & 3-98. If SL "prepare rank turners," he will factor. After 168 1st class games, @ ave 26 & SR 48, and (says Wikipedia) having played for the most teams in the world - 27 - he is, if anything, experienced!

    IF (???) Piedt's form translates into tests, we'd have a true attacking Off & Leg pair, plus Duminy's well improved part time. But ... if SA EVER pick 2 spinners, I'll fall over in amazement!

    Peace to you too, brother

  • on June 29, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    To Tommy. Appreciate your comments ... We also. admire your players. Esp Smith.! amla. . , Kallis. , never a word out of line. ....Gentle men. ..hope to see a good series. . If we do not win the World Cup 2015. , I would be happy if SA. Or Pakistan will take the cup ,,,,as the current ICC. Administration is far removed from the game.

  • on June 29, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    SL is in some form this year...winning the Asia cup the T20WC and having an awesome tour in England, which is not at all friendly conditions for SL...my bet is that SL will win the T20S and Onedayers comfortably...cz we are very good at home...The Test Series will be the one watch...It is no more a dieing game :)

  • Sinhaya on June 29, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    @Tommy Tucker, I am fond of South Africa not just in cricket even in soccer and rugby union too. I was sad when you all prematurely exited the 2010 FIFA world cup.

    If South Africa get all basics right they may win the tests 2-0 who knows?? ODIs are in our favor but I still feel SA are favorites for the tests as I am not convinced by our test bowling attack. True that after a 9 month period of not playing tests, we have won 3 beating Pakistan, Bangladesh and England but not sure if we can get the SA batting out twice.

  • on June 29, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    Sri Lanka are my favourite Asian team. Their fans are honourable and not arrogant like some other countries we know...I have always said that Sanga is miles better than Sachin.

    This series is going to be really really difficult for SA to win as Lanka are very good at home, plus they have just beaten England away from home - so hats off to them.

  • on June 29, 2014, 5:03 GMT

    South Africans are sure to struggle this time around because of the absence of Jaques Kallis. He was the gel that held the SA line up together. This current line up, barring Hashim Amla does not have the wherewithal to stand up and fight on turning tracks. Hashim Amla too has been found out recently shuffling and getting into his crease too deep. This weakness had been evident in recent matches.

    South Africa can take hope from the Aussie team of 2004, which white washed Sri Lanka 3-0 in 2004. This was the series in which Shanw Warne was making a comeback after a year's ban. He took five wicket hauls in all the three tests. Even though Murali was at his peak, it had no affect on the Aussie team, who were without Ricky Ponting and led by Adam Gilchrist. However, the SA team doesnt have a decent spinner, which may hurt them badly.

  • VinothSam on June 29, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    Asia cup checked. World cup checked. England series Checked. South Africa series to be checked.Good luck Lions.

  • dunger.bob on June 29, 2014, 0:58 GMT

    This is quite a fascinating series for a neutral like myself. There's a bit doing here. Some of the questions I'm interested in include: 1. Can SL continue on their roll. They're playing well and have massive self belief at the moment. What will it take to trip them up. 2. How will SA handle the transition into the New Age. They've just lost the greatest all rounder the game has seen as well as their captain and seasoned opener. They have a new captain on his maiden voyage, as yet unproven at this level. .. I also have questions about their bowling, particularly the support act. Steyn is undeniably one of the greats but Morkel and Philander were disappointing in the Aus. series. They both need to pick their acts up or SA will be in deep trouble imo.

    Anyway, good luck to both sets of lads and lets hope the series lives up to it's promise.

  • vkumar_086 on June 28, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    now in this series SL will make turning tracks.....SL spinners will become unplayable for SA batsmen....SL batsmen score runs heavily and SL will win the series EASILY.....but why the same team not winning SINGLE TEST in the same turning tracks of India?

  • Greatest_Game on June 28, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    @ Blade-Runner. Again you have stated "South Africans have always struggled to acclimate to Sri Lankan conditions."

    You stated this. I pointed out SA's record in SL. That was ignored. Let the Test record speak for itself!

    OVERALL: 20 tests. SA won 10. SL won 5. 5 drawn.

    IN SRI LANKA:

    TESTS: SA: 2 wins, 4 losses. SL 4 wins, 2 losses. 4 tests drawn.

    SERIES: SA won 1, SL won 2. 1 Series drawn

    If "South Africans have ALWAYS struggled to acclimate to Sri Lankan conditions," how did they win a series, draw a series, & hold SL to a draw as many times as SL won?

    We agree that Saffas & Lankans have deep mutual respect, & that our cricket is played in good spirit. It however does not feel respectful when the full record is ignored. SL have the winning record, but SA have won & drawn a series, & held SL to 4 drawn matches. That is not struggling - that is winning too! An inns & 208 runs is a win, just as 7 runs is a win.

    Let us acknowledge history, & honour the record of both teams!

  • on June 28, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    How come there is no Twenty Twenty matches amongst Sri Lanka and South Africa....That would have been Great....South Africa will have their hands full under this extreme hot weather....

    On the other hand, Sri Lanka should make this an opportunity to try out our new pacers in good pacy pitches to get ready for the world cup next year

  • Udendra on June 28, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    one of the toughest assignments in world cricket is beating SL at home. That said, SL should not take SA lightly. Be aware of complacency!

  • on June 28, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    According to fixture two test matches to play at galle and SSC .Apart australia Non sub subcontinent teams had week record against SL in those grounds.

  • SL_rockz on June 28, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    We never Under estimate any team at any moment. I wanna see Sl win but Saffas are a very good team in both formats. They have very talented players just as Sl have. So it will be a quite interesting battle and may the best one wins. But i wish now SL fans have gave up the feeling of loosing due to the exceptional performances by our team in this year. :).. So I hope as we are in Home and we know and handle the conditions well we have a really good chance of rock and roll again ... We never under estimate like Eng did on us and as u see clearly now they were humiliated in that account. We have proven that not the money wins but the skills and fighting wins the game..... Luckily we have plenty in our tank !!!

  • Blade-Runner on June 28, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game; Most of the Sri Lankan fans (including me) consider South Africa as their 2nd favorite team. We are very fond of SA players as they are extremely talented yet very humble and polite, kinda qualities that SL players possess. And, of course, we all want our home team to do well against everyone. That's why you see some very confident comments pop up here n there. :) Nobody is denying the fact that South Africa is a top class team and they've proven that over the years. But, South Africans have always struggled to acclimate to Sri Lankan conditions. That's where Sri Lanka get the advantage and hence become the favorites for this series. The other thing is that Sri Lanka are having a great year and most likely to continue its good form. But that doesn't mean that South Africa will roll over or anything. They are a very competitive team and will give a tough fight. I mean no disrespect but as a die-hard SL fan I back my team to take the series. :P Cheers !!

  • Herath-UK on June 28, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    The great teams are the ones who pull the wins out of jaws of defeat; that displays the quality of a champion side ,the great example that comes immediately to my mind is Beckhams last minute goal that gave MUTD the Champion league. Look at past history, more than not SA has just become fodder to Lanka , leave other teams out. Sangas & Mahelas world record & recent knock out of T20 just to mention.The two recent wins in England fighting neck to neck show much better insight into the integrity of the team & have become marvels of the game of cricket history than easy facile wins, nobody ever mention. Do not mention about BL series with India we all know the answer.

  • Greatest_Game on June 28, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    Some think SL are on a roll, unbeatable, & SA won't win a thing. Beware false hopes.

    I WANTED a SL win, even tho a SL loss would have suited SA. But, SL were 2 BALLS FROM LOSING THE 1ST, & DRAWING THE 2ND. It was no comprehensive win. SL won the ODI series, but were thrashed in some games.

    When SA toured Eng, 1st test, SA won by the BIGGEST MARGIN EVER: 18 wickets & 12 runs. SA took 20, & scored 637 dec. Eng managed 2 wickets. That Eng team had Trott, KP, Swann, Strauss (GOOD skipper) & Prior could still keep. Rain & KP saved Eng from whitewash. SA then won a test series in Aus. Weeks later SL were whitewashed there!

    SA's test team is strong, can compete anywhere & SA's experienced bowling has led the rankings for years! I look forward to an exciting, honourable series. We Saffas respect, & don't trash SL, like Eng. We also don't roll over, & rarely lose. Anything can happen, but a SL whitewash is unlikely. We are NOT a fractured team of Poms/Zims/Aussies. Don't underestimate SA!

  • brokeneffingarm on June 28, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    The test series might be slightly tough for the proteas unless they learn how to counter some quality spin bowling.They havent played enough cricket inside the subcontinent & therefore the inexperienced chaps might have a bit of difficulty in facing spin. Additionally , I dont see any decent spinners apart from Immy & Robbie , let alone quality spinners.

  • anupamraj114 on June 28, 2014, 8:51 GMT

    @ksquared what you have done now, we did years back..!!

  • ksquared on June 28, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    @alwaysindia..... firstly try to win at least one game this time in ENG lol

  • alwaysindia on June 28, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    @dylonn then why are sri lankans commenting useless facts on ind-eng columns and btw india are much better than srl remember all the hammerings in world cup and champions trophy, firstly try to win a test match in india or aus lol

  • on June 28, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    @ Dylonn, very well said Mr. Dylonn, dnt know what has happen with this Indian ppl, (except very few) why they always feel so jealous with our team?? being a very small country SL team had done done miracles in the past n i m pretty sure they ll do the same in the years to come as well. It is true that we are yet to win a Test at the big headed Indians soil n Aussie tracks, we r not talking about the past n this new look SL team with a sheer determination will take us through, hopefully one fine day our boys do this on a deadly Indian flat track n keep this Indians mouth shut, we ll see what will happen to their overestimated team this time, Alistair Cook may get back his lost form surely in front of this mediocre, worst bowling attack on the planet.. :) take that Indians..

  • Cricsnake on June 28, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    At the moment SL is at their best form. It would be very hard for SA in ODI's but SA did remarkably well in the last series in SL. Thus there would be a thrilling competition. Kusal Janith can secure his place in ODI series. SA will give good fight & SL must not take them lightly. Test series is open for both teams as SA is the best test team in away conditions. SL should continue current form & need good support from Sanga & Mahela when scoring. SL fast bowlers would do well as usual & Rangana Herath need a support/ back-up bowler, most probably Suraj Randiv or Tarindu Kaushal. It is better if SL could play with 3 seamers & 2 spinners.

  • on June 28, 2014, 7:14 GMT

    it's very difficult for SA to win a series against SL because SL team is more balanced than SA. I think this series is 60%-40%. 20% ahead SL than SA.

  • social_monster09 on June 28, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    It's gonna really very hard for SA to handle spin bowlers of Lankan esp. Herath. Both top 2 sides Aus & SA are really deserve their places 1 & 2 but in SC esp. in India & Lanka where bowl starts to spin from the very first day is hard to survive much longer on crease even for Clarke or ABDV. BTW Clarke is far consistent batsman in Sub continental conditions than any other fast track batsmen in world but sometime in past he also struggled in SC pitches too. So a good series is coming...hope SA will give some fight to Lankans. My prediction 1-0 for SL. Cheers!!!

  • Dylonn on June 28, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    Its so funny, how Indian supporters high jack each of the articles and try to put their big nose around. SA/SL tour is no concern to you and I am at a loss to understand why Indians keep on critisizing the Sri Lankan team.

    Sri Lankans are much better talented pool of cricketers sourced from a meager 20M people, whereas India not able to source a threatening team with even from a billion + pool of people. Just live with it my Indian bro's.

  • hasa555 on June 28, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    It's always nice to see south africa as a opponent. Full pack of talent & skills.

  • CricketFirst on June 28, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    It's gonna be a great battle between bat & ball since both teams have good young and experienced players and keen to win. Of all SA visits to SL, I remember the great fast bowling display of Alan Donald and Brett Schultz most. It's unfortunate for world cricket to not see more of Brett.

    Hats off to Champaka Ramanayake & Chaminda Vaas for training our young pacers such as Eranga, Pradeep, Prasad & Lakmal to be world class. I sincerely hope Vaas being an expert swing bowler and as the fast bowling coach of SL, would take these bowlers to the next level by teaching them on how to swing & reverse swing the ball.

  • on June 28, 2014, 4:59 GMT

    Vivek Venkates.... De Villiers have only scored 137 runs in 5 ODIs of avg 27.40 of strike rate of 81.45 and a best score of 51. Thisara Perera scored 110 runs off avg 54.50 with a strike rate of 129.76 of the best score as 65. his smashing sixes were brilliant & awesome. he was the highest person who has the highest strike rate through the tournament.... so it would be better to watch out from THISARA PERERA than Villiers.... because he would again smash those dashing Sixes....... and by the way u should be an indian because other fans doesn't get much disturbed like Indians when SL comes up :))

  • on June 28, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    waiting for a good series. . . SA is a strong team.SL can't take them lightly.sanga,styen,devilliers,mahela,rangana,mathews. . . . anyone can change the game. this will be a good battle.

  • Lion83 on June 28, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    India is under immense pressure because they have to beat Eng after Srilanka's success in England. India lost 4-0 last time they came to UK.

  • Lochana1473 on June 28, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    @Jimmyvida u r vry funny guy.... Did u know SA never beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka...in last series SA played some school crickets so this time is same...SA never ever win series against Lankan in sri lanka...u can clearly see how lions roar in this series...

  • Nuwas on June 28, 2014, 3:06 GMT

    Continued... Now moving on to Tests, Galle underwent some serious reconstruction during the last year or so & from the local news I heard Galle's pitch is no longer a boring batting paradise & they have created one or two pitches to assist pacers & will be rotated during 5 days,so Galles is supposed to be result oriented now. SSC is known to be SL's fortress & I don't see it changing for a long time, worst result would be a draw ofc. Its a fact beyond doubts of any sorts that SA got the best seamers, but are their spinners Test material? specially in subcontinent conditions? I have my doubts. And anyone else among runs recently except Amla, Duminy & Faf? Even AB isn't that consistent during the last 6 months or so & heartbroken, would he able to give his 100% to the team? Can the new batters handle the pressure in Test Level outside? Doubts every where. SL on the other hand is having an epic run in all formats during the last year or so & pretty much looks upto the task on the papers.

  • on June 28, 2014, 2:56 GMT

    JimmyVida i think u haven't watch cricket for 6-7 years.... it's so funny to hear SL is not a strong team.... winning each and every thing this year was the best proof for that..... and by the way haven't u watch Asia Cup and ICC WT20 2014????? ;))

  • Nuwas on June 28, 2014, 2:49 GMT

    lol good to see still some indians are bitterly dissapointed & finding it hard to live with it , with our Team's great form during the last year or so. There are few facts I'd like to pass on to those of who think that this would be a cake walk for either sides; unlike rest of the subcontinent countries, SL is willing to accept the change & instead of being persistent with flat or spinning decks, SL is moving on to create pitches for pacers & Hambantota & Pallekele are living examples of such, So it should be a thrilling & tight ODI series considering the venues & the fact that not only SA got a great pace unit,but also SL's is rising upto the tasks with Vaas's superb coaching skills. And in the ODIs I really don't think spin would gives either of the sides since both got it balanced imo with Thahir & Duminy got subcontinent spin exposure with IPL.

  • on June 28, 2014, 2:37 GMT

    @jummyvida, priceless1: for me, it seems you were not following current Srilankan cricket closely. FYI: Sri Lankans amhave won all the series they have played during last 6-7 months, including the clean sweep win in England.

  • on June 28, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    We welcome SA to Sri Lanka. They are a great bunch. It will be a good battle at the end of which SL will come good but SA never humiliated.

  • Greatest_Game on June 28, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    @ Blade-Runner writes "winning in SL is highly unlikely for SA. SL ...are literally unbeatable at home... SA have always found it very hard to adjust to the conditions."

    If SL are literally unbeatable & SA always find hard to adjust, how did SA WIN a Test Series IN SL? SL are NOT unbeatable at home. SA did it!

    Last tour Mahela & Kumar's record partnership crushed SA in Test 1. In Test 2, SA was ahead after the 1st inngs, & 1 wicket from victory before SL passed their total - a VERY close match. SA were weak without Smith, Kallis & a spinner, in Steyn's 10th match/1st tour. SL had Murali!

    This SA is better balanced & stronger. SL are in for quite a fight.

    Last tour AB was SA's best bat, & is now ranked #1, Test & ODI! Kumar's test rating NOW is 896: AB's is 922. Kumar's best - 938 in 2007. AB's best - 935 in 2014! Kumar just equaled the record of 50s in 7 consecutive inns : AB just set the record of 50s in 13 consecutive tests. Both are in form: don't presume a best - not yet!

  • bootlicker on June 28, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    No need to have any arguments. SL is in great form now and SA will be at the receiving end. It is no doubt SL will win both Tests and ODIs.

  • Herath-UK on June 27, 2014, 22:50 GMT

    Sri Lanka is on a roll & very unlikely to lose to SA in any format. Having tails up with their superb fast bowling display here in UK, I'm sure they are not inclined to put their guards down against the SAns.I would like the SLC to hang up two photos for proud display at the headquarters, one with Anderson in his haunches with the Sri Lankans on a pile over Eranga & the penultimate/last stroke from Pradeep holding out for a draw at the Lords which epitomise the triumph here.

  • Greatest_Game on June 27, 2014, 20:41 GMT

    @ Blade-Runner writes "winning in SL is highly unlikely for SA. SL ...are literally unbeatable at home... SA have always found it very hard to adjust to the conditions."

    If SL are literally unbeatable & SA always find hard to adjust, how did SA WIN a Test Series IN SL? SL are NOT unbeatable at home. SA did it!

    Last tour Mahela & Kumar's record partnership crushed SA in Test 1. In Test 2, SA was ahead after the 1st inngs, & 1 wicket from victory before SL passed their total - a VERY close match. SA were weak without Smith, Kallis & a spinner, in Steyn's 10th match/1st tour. SL had Murali!

    This SA is better balanced & stronger. SL are in for quite a fight.

    Last tour AB was SA's best bat, & is now ranked #1, Test & ODI! Kumar's test rating NOW is 896: AB's is 922. Kumar's best - 938 in 2007. AB's best - 935 in 2014! Kumar just equaled the record of 50s in 7 consecutive inns : AB just set the record of 50s in 13 consecutive tests. Both are in form: don't presume a best - not yet!

  • on June 27, 2014, 19:48 GMT

    @jimmyvida I believe SL will give a tough fight to SA and SL is double stronger in Sri lanaka ..I can't believe why this Indian fans have a concern over SL talent ...I think India is under imaense pressure ...and as we all know that they are so poor in foreign conditions and they gonna continue their poor form in England as they did in NZ and SA ....

  • on June 27, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    @Dizzy d - I have just one word for you - DeVilliers!!!

  • SICHO on June 27, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    Why is that most people believe that SL are unbeatable in their own backyard? Last time Australia was there SL were saved by rain or they would've lost the series. Even New Zealand drew 1-1 with SL, so if our boys play good cricket, we can beat them in their own backyard. The whole 'high confidence' thing is just crap. Recently against Australia were at our shores when they were 'high in confidence' from the Ashes, they won the 1st and everybody kept on saying that they'd win the 2nd test, why? Coz they were 'high in confidence'. They were trounced, then everybody switched and said SA are 'high in confidence' and they'd win series, we lost (plus we were a bowler short, not just a bowler but Steyn-short). So the whole argument of 'high in confidence' is absurd. You win because you play good cricket, and our boys are very well capable of playing good cricket and beating this SL side.

  • on June 27, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    @Jimmyvida LOL it seems that u haven't watch cricket about 6-7 years and u haven't known about what happened to SA last year vs SL.... and u are mentioned that SL is a weak side....... know this boy SL's win percentage in 2014 is 90% and they are the most consistent side uptodate...... mark my eordd boy they will win ODI series and have a edge in winning Test Series.

  • ksquared on June 27, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    @Jimmyvida Underestimate SL at ur own peril they have won every trophy they played for in 2014 and last year SA were thrashed 4-1 in ODIs any experience you talked about was non existent so really don't bet on the result being different. As far as the test series goes I still don't see SA winning it especially in Galle a spinners paradise remember SA is without Kallis or Smith.

  • Chathura_Wijekoon on June 27, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    @ Jimmyvida - do not compare Sri Lankan cricket team with Indian Cricket Team..no other team consistent as us in past few years..it doesn't matter whether we play home or away..recently we won ODI, T20 & Test Series in UK..so we are in a good shape..& advantage with us in home conditions..just to reminder..now its time to show indian colors..when they last visit UK & Aussie the results were 10 - 0 in test series..flat pitch bullies..

  • Prabhash1985 on June 27, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    I hope Sri Lanka will warmly welcome South Africans unlike some other nations. We are known to be a warm welcoming nation with a smile always. I wish all the best to Sri Lanka for a great victory at home, but I love to see great players from South Africa playing in our country. It's a privilege to have them here. Wish both teams all the best, and hope to see a good contest, surely a peaceful one :)

  • on June 27, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    @priceless1 New Zealand didn't win any series' last two times they visited Sri Lanka. In 2013, ODI series drawn 1 all and Sri Lanka won the T20 series. In 2012, Sri Lanka won ODIs 3-0(2 matches abandoned) and test series drawn 1 all.

  • jimmyvida on June 27, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    SA will win both ODI and tests in Sri Lanka. Times are changing. Most of SA players have experience in Asian conditions now. Can't say the same thing 6-7 years ago. SL is not a strong team and its fielding is only as good as India, which is deplorable at best.

  • priceless1 on June 27, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    SA can learn lot from the last series between SL and NZ where NZ manged to win both ODI and the Test series comfortably in the end . ..

  • Bheshu on June 27, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Sri Lanka played like South Africa against England, hat off for them and they're my second fav. team after Saffas. even if we are unlikely to win ODIs but on the Test side...I'm sorry Lankan we don't have any choice but to win it :)

  • Lion83 on June 27, 2014, 15:46 GMT

    Going to be a good series for both teams srilanka in good form after Eng tour and looking to build on momentum till the world cup.

  • on June 27, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    oh boy oh boy...... Duminy it will be very tough to beat SL as they were blitz against every team... and in home it's gonna be hell of a tough...LOL its like fighting against a Lion in it's Den....

  • Blade-Runner on June 27, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    South Africa is one of my top favorite teams after Sri Lanka and I've got enormous respect for each n every player. But winning in Sri Lanka is highly unlikely for South Africans. Sri Lanka is in red hot form and they are literally unbeatable at home. In addition, South Africans have always found it very hard to adjust to the conditions. Anyway I'm waiting to see the battle between the best batsman in the world (Sanga) and the best bowler (Steyn). Ah man..this is gonna be a cracking series. <3

  • DizzD on June 27, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    I have 2 words for duminy. THISARA PERERA!!!

  • on June 27, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    Having jack kallis back at odi set up ,most of the best batsman of SA had to bat lower down the order. Jp will play at 4 and ab at 5. Which means du plessis will bat at 6 and miller at 7. Batting looks too strong but du plessis and miller are misfit at no 6 and no 7. And having kallis back ryan mclaren wont play.SA wont play duminy at 6 because he needs time to settle. And miller has no other option but to play at no 7. If SA Plays mclaren at 7 and plays miller at 6 ,sa tail becomes week as mclaren has done good with ball ,but not with the bat and sa tail is weak.

  • highveldhillbilly on June 27, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    I see SA struggling in the ODIs. Think we'll be pegged back on the slow low surfaces. However the tests will be closer. I think Sri Lanka will need a good series from Herath however after the English series I don't want to under estimate the Lankan seamers!

  • ak928 on June 27, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    sa need their big guns like ab,du plessis.and duminy to fire if they have any chance of beating sl in sl..................because sl is a very strong team.....high in confidence...after wins in england

  • TommytuckerSaffa on June 27, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    For starters Duminy shouldn't be in the Test Team. ODI and T20 only.

  • Sinhaya on June 27, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    Oh there is a big mistake here. The period from 1993 to 2013 is 20 years and not 10 years. Thank you Waleed Zahoor for pointing out.

    Well tests will be hard for SA but anything can happen in ODIs. As a Lankan I am extremely fond of SA but sadly Sri Lanka is South Africa's worse away destination.

  • on June 27, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    sa lost away test at uae against Pakistan in 2013 and 1993-2013 makes it 20 years not 10 years

  • 2nd_Slip on June 27, 2014, 12:50 GMT

    We might lose the limited overs part of the series but we will keep our record of wining away from home in tests.

  • Kruns on June 27, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    SA will win the One day series and SL will win the test series Star for SA will be DCOCK and AB....

  • on June 27, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    and why is the period from 1993-2013 ten years? :p

  • HennopsRiverEnd on June 27, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    In the absence of Graeme and Jacques, the Proteas will look to AB,Amla,Faf,JP,Dale and with Alviro in tests to lead the team. Will be great entertainment to play against the form team. Looking forward to it.

  • ZainE111 on June 27, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    "Sri Lanka is also the last place where South Africa lost a Test away from home, eight years ago." That's not true - SA's away test match defeat was against Pakistan. I think the article meant to say "test SERIES".

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  • ZainE111 on June 27, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    "Sri Lanka is also the last place where South Africa lost a Test away from home, eight years ago." That's not true - SA's away test match defeat was against Pakistan. I think the article meant to say "test SERIES".

  • HennopsRiverEnd on June 27, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    In the absence of Graeme and Jacques, the Proteas will look to AB,Amla,Faf,JP,Dale and with Alviro in tests to lead the team. Will be great entertainment to play against the form team. Looking forward to it.

  • on June 27, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    and why is the period from 1993-2013 ten years? :p

  • Kruns on June 27, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    SA will win the One day series and SL will win the test series Star for SA will be DCOCK and AB....

  • 2nd_Slip on June 27, 2014, 12:50 GMT

    We might lose the limited overs part of the series but we will keep our record of wining away from home in tests.

  • on June 27, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    sa lost away test at uae against Pakistan in 2013 and 1993-2013 makes it 20 years not 10 years

  • Sinhaya on June 27, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    Oh there is a big mistake here. The period from 1993 to 2013 is 20 years and not 10 years. Thank you Waleed Zahoor for pointing out.

    Well tests will be hard for SA but anything can happen in ODIs. As a Lankan I am extremely fond of SA but sadly Sri Lanka is South Africa's worse away destination.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on June 27, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    For starters Duminy shouldn't be in the Test Team. ODI and T20 only.

  • ak928 on June 27, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    sa need their big guns like ab,du plessis.and duminy to fire if they have any chance of beating sl in sl..................because sl is a very strong team.....high in confidence...after wins in england

  • highveldhillbilly on June 27, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    I see SA struggling in the ODIs. Think we'll be pegged back on the slow low surfaces. However the tests will be closer. I think Sri Lanka will need a good series from Herath however after the English series I don't want to under estimate the Lankan seamers!