South Africa in Sri Lanka 2013 July 14, 2013

South Africa look for limited-overs rhythm

40

South Africa in July is not a time for rebirth. The country is caught in winter's grip - wind and rain sweep over Cape Town; weak, watery sunshine tries to warm things up elsewhere - and cricket will only be woken from its slumber when September ends.

By then the new age would have begun. Russell Domingo would have completed his first assignment as head coach and the ODI and Twenty20 squads would have had their umpteenth makeover of the last two years.

This one will be their defining redesign, or so we've been told, as they look to prioritise the 2014 World T20 and the 2015 World Cup. Domingo and captain AB de Villiers have been asked to give as much attention to the limited-overs squads as has been lavished on the Test one to restore their previous consistency and rewrite their major-tournament record by securing silverware.

They have been told to start again, beginning with the five-match ODI and three-match T20 tour of Sri Lanka. "We're going to have to take a few steps back and do the basics bloody well," de Villiers said before the squad's departure from Johannesburg. "It's about us finding a rhythm as a team."

As things stand, South Africa's one-day squad are out of sync. Some days the bowlers beat their drums perfectly but the batsmen cannot join in, on others the opposite happens. Pressure still infects them like an incurable illness, as was evident at the Champions Trophy.

That tournament also revealed that the South Africa of old - who entered ICC events as favourites to win and regularly left with a reputation of being the best team not to - is a thing of the past. Last month they were far from the best team at the competition and got what they deserved as a result.

The helter-skelter pattern of results leading up to the tournament did not inspire much confidence and they have now realised the value of how they did things before. "Everyone is tired of the word consistency because we talk about it so much but we need to play consistently in this series," de Villiers said.

Removing uncertainty from their game will start with de Villiers. The captain has wavered as much as the game plans, from his decision on whether he will keep wicket full-time to his position in the batting order. Now he seems to have been forced on to stable ground.

He will keep wicket, despite the presence of Quinton de Kock in the squad, and he will bat No. 4. "We played around with it because of particular circumstances but I think we'll be more consistent from now," he said.

De Villiers also believes Domingo will enforce regularity throughout the shorter-format squads. The fluid state they existed in under Gary Kirsten was partly a result of a search for combinations and Domingo has promised to end the experimentation. Instead he will take what his predecessor found and polish it.

Implicitly, Domingo has given an assurance he will not chop and change as much in order to give a group of players a sustained run and a chance to become accustomed to playing at the highest level. "Russell communicates very well and he will make sure everyone understands their role really well," de Villiers said. That means an end to the floating batting line-up, perhaps an end to the sometimes desperate-looking measures - like promoting Colin Ingram to opening the batting - and an end to de Villiers' constant changing of mind.

"I've learnt a few lessons as captain and I am really looking forward to showing that on this trip," de Villiers said. He understands the burden he has to shoulder better than he did in the past; de Villiers is now ready to settle in as captain, wicketkeeper and No. 4 batsman, and has enough experience in all three to be uncertain any longer.

His leadership emerged as one of the positives of the Champions Trophy, with him seeming more assured when directing proceedings in the field. He also identified the bowling as encouraging in the competition. "We were without Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn, and people said that was our weakness but the way the youngsters stepped up was impressive."

Morkel is back in the squad but Steyn continues to recover from the niggles he picked up in England, so it will be up to the bench strength to put their hands up again. So too the batsmen, who de Villiers expects much more from: "I am waiting for a few guys to take ownership of positions in the top order."

South Africa's implosion in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy, and his own careless swipe, is one of de Villiers' worst memories but, as they have done before, the ODI squad have to move on from the hurt. De Villiers believes they can start in Sri Lanka as they address their weaknesses to begin a new era.

"In that last Champions Trophy game against England, I can think of more than 10 things that we got wrong," he said. "In the big moments, we've got to play better."

A three-week tour of Sri Lanka, taking place in the shadow of the Ashes, will not present many big moments that anyone will take much notice of or remember. But it could be the relative obscurity of this engagement that will allow South Africa time away from the glare to work on their game.

The same applies to there being no Tests on the itinerary. The schedule is not South Africa's doing but it could be to their advantage because they will have a window to focus entirely on shorter formats. If the Champions Trophy is a measuring stick, that is exactly what they need right now.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • proteasfire on July 16, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    This is an important tour for South Africa especially after their below par performance in Champions Trophy semi final against England. This tour provides lot of opportunity for youngsters like DeKock, David Miller to establish themselves and also seniors Faf and Duminy to prove their worth in the team. SA's victory chances in the last one year or so has relied upon the services of Amla and AB heavily, but its time for other batsmen to step up if SA are to become a better one day side. On the bowling side too it will be interesting to see how Morris shapes himself further after successful Champions Trophy. Tsotsobe has been given numerous opportunities and its high time he performs or selectors need to think twice before picking him up in the next tour. With sub continental pitches normally assisting spinners its a test for both SA batsmen and bowlers. It will be interesting to see how SA spinners perform in conditions that suit them.

  • Shazy777 on July 18, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    I think De Kock should keep regurly in limited ov cricket.. Ab have back problem so can't loose him due to keeping...!!!

  • Shazy777 on July 18, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    chadster de kock will prove himself if team management shows confidence on him... he scores alot of runs at domestic level with consistancy... he is very young at this level so team management will give him 2 or 3 full series... de kock should be better choice then A.petersen & C.ingram and he should keep also if team required...!!!

  • IggyNtw on July 17, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    This should be a perfect time for De Cock to play, not Petersen. when is Philander ever going to get a chance to play in the ODI team?

  • Haider-pak-awsome on July 17, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    To all SA fans....don't worry it is going to be really a walk in park for SA. After Murali retired SL have stopped preparing spinning tracks because they lack quality spinners. As far as fast bowling is concerned they have only Malinga that too without much variation. Entire world knows the only weapons that Malinga has is yorkaa and slower one. You can literally write the ball to ball script when Malinga is bowling. White wash 5-0 is on cards unless rain saves SL in one or two matches.

  • on July 16, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    If Mahela & Sanga score runs & there averages will be improved.If others make runs, their averages also will be improved.Batsmen with improved averages will be ended up as legends.Whether it is home or away what is important is making runs and winning matches.We are good in our conditions and visitors are good at their conditions.At last what we need is winning as a team & not focus very much on individual performances.Good luck , Angelo and the team.

  • on July 16, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    Sadly the Proteas will be thrashed. Poor bowling attack for the conditions and very few with the stomach for a good scrap.The more this very poor one day side gets beaten, the closer we hopefully are to meaningful change.

  • chadster on July 16, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    100 % correct @Sathesh_Krishnan, could not have said it better myself

  • chadster on July 16, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Point taken @ shazzy, BUt then De Kock will have2 prove that he can b moulded in2 a stronng, reliable and consistant openr, something he lacks in is confidence, something he reli needs to work on before he is given the role as openr. i do agree that AB needs to bat with the middle order, but not now, we need to develope another opnr, who at the moment is not De Kock, but i strongly agree that it will be him

  • bravetigersmustwin on July 16, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    @Greatest_Game I agree with you that amla is the world class player. Except AB de villers and Amla i dont think rest of SA can play spin well. In SL, you wont have the advantage of Pace bowling as it will be slow track and no matter how fast you bowl, there is some retardation in pace after the ball pitches. But i wish SA must thrash SL and whitewash them. My all time favourite team is SA and sometimes i have even supported them while playing against India. To answer at your question India is bad player of Pace and cant bowl pace bowling - Indian team has to show whether you are right or wrong in the upcoming SA series.

  • proteasfire on July 16, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    This is an important tour for South Africa especially after their below par performance in Champions Trophy semi final against England. This tour provides lot of opportunity for youngsters like DeKock, David Miller to establish themselves and also seniors Faf and Duminy to prove their worth in the team. SA's victory chances in the last one year or so has relied upon the services of Amla and AB heavily, but its time for other batsmen to step up if SA are to become a better one day side. On the bowling side too it will be interesting to see how Morris shapes himself further after successful Champions Trophy. Tsotsobe has been given numerous opportunities and its high time he performs or selectors need to think twice before picking him up in the next tour. With sub continental pitches normally assisting spinners its a test for both SA batsmen and bowlers. It will be interesting to see how SA spinners perform in conditions that suit them.

  • Shazy777 on July 18, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    I think De Kock should keep regurly in limited ov cricket.. Ab have back problem so can't loose him due to keeping...!!!

  • Shazy777 on July 18, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    chadster de kock will prove himself if team management shows confidence on him... he scores alot of runs at domestic level with consistancy... he is very young at this level so team management will give him 2 or 3 full series... de kock should be better choice then A.petersen & C.ingram and he should keep also if team required...!!!

  • IggyNtw on July 17, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    This should be a perfect time for De Cock to play, not Petersen. when is Philander ever going to get a chance to play in the ODI team?

  • Haider-pak-awsome on July 17, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    To all SA fans....don't worry it is going to be really a walk in park for SA. After Murali retired SL have stopped preparing spinning tracks because they lack quality spinners. As far as fast bowling is concerned they have only Malinga that too without much variation. Entire world knows the only weapons that Malinga has is yorkaa and slower one. You can literally write the ball to ball script when Malinga is bowling. White wash 5-0 is on cards unless rain saves SL in one or two matches.

  • on July 16, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    If Mahela & Sanga score runs & there averages will be improved.If others make runs, their averages also will be improved.Batsmen with improved averages will be ended up as legends.Whether it is home or away what is important is making runs and winning matches.We are good in our conditions and visitors are good at their conditions.At last what we need is winning as a team & not focus very much on individual performances.Good luck , Angelo and the team.

  • on July 16, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    Sadly the Proteas will be thrashed. Poor bowling attack for the conditions and very few with the stomach for a good scrap.The more this very poor one day side gets beaten, the closer we hopefully are to meaningful change.

  • chadster on July 16, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    100 % correct @Sathesh_Krishnan, could not have said it better myself

  • chadster on July 16, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Point taken @ shazzy, BUt then De Kock will have2 prove that he can b moulded in2 a stronng, reliable and consistant openr, something he lacks in is confidence, something he reli needs to work on before he is given the role as openr. i do agree that AB needs to bat with the middle order, but not now, we need to develope another opnr, who at the moment is not De Kock, but i strongly agree that it will be him

  • bravetigersmustwin on July 16, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    @Greatest_Game I agree with you that amla is the world class player. Except AB de villers and Amla i dont think rest of SA can play spin well. In SL, you wont have the advantage of Pace bowling as it will be slow track and no matter how fast you bowl, there is some retardation in pace after the ball pitches. But i wish SA must thrash SL and whitewash them. My all time favourite team is SA and sometimes i have even supported them while playing against India. To answer at your question India is bad player of Pace and cant bowl pace bowling - Indian team has to show whether you are right or wrong in the upcoming SA series.

  • madmasthathi1 on July 16, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    Let me see if I get this right: SL play SA is some flat wickets. Mahela scores runs, boosts his home average. Everyone forgets that he cannot score outside the sub-continent. He retires at the end. Gets branded as a SL legend :)

  • on July 16, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    These are the players I believe should be in the Protea ODI playing team, in no particular order i.e. A. B. de Villiers, H. Amla, F. du Plessis, R. Petersen, Miller, L. Tzotzobe, R. Mclaren, J. P. Duminy, A. Phangiso, C. Ingram, M. Morkel/D. Steyn

    Reserves: Q. de Kock, C. Morris, F. Behardin, Alviro Petersen,

    Eeither Morkel or Steyn should play, not both. This will allow them enough rest and not over exposure, the latter which cricket administrators, everywhere, are now learning is one of THE major causes of cricket injuries. For games of lesser importance A. B. de Villiers should also scale down to batting alone and give Q. de Kock a go behind the stumps, perhaps in the place of C. Ingram. If any of my first XI should be dropped, I think it will have to be Ingram. My first choice replacement for him will be Alviro Petersen, who can most certainly bat and his spin bowling can be quite useful. Rory Kleynveldt is a good player, but he is hopelessly too inconsistent, in my opinion.

  • fazald on July 16, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka should think of playing some serious test cricket rather than being involved in the hit and run game like T20 and ODI's just to make a fast buck while not trying to improve on their standards in test cricket where they rank seventh. In 30 years of test cricket they have still not won a test series against either India or Australia. They are playing only two test series in 2013 only against mediocre teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh so as to improve on in their test cricket rankings which cancelling their test series against South Africa and the West Indies. I think the ICC should take a stand and put a stop to the cancellation of cricket fixtures and curtail the number of limited over mathes that are being played by each country before it becomes a big bore. Like the recent tri series in the West Indies where there were hardly any spectators watching the games. Even the Champios Trophy matches in England didn't attract a large crowd for the matches.

  • on July 16, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa So the other countries should stop playing cricket during the ashes? SA and SL are two exciting teams. And SA is touring SL after a long time. It's a shame that there are no tests in this series. But still it's not a "pointless" series.

  • Greatest_Game on July 16, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    @ Xolile. The tests were postponed at Sri Lanka's request. SL wanted ODIs because they will make more money. They took a big financial hit staging World Cup games, and are still recovering. SA had to agree - they really had no choice - but I think CSA is quite happy to see more money!

    The recent Windies/SL/India ODI tournament was supposed to have been a test tour for SL, but WI & SL managed to get India to come and play an ODI tournament instead. That brought them a lot more money - TV income from India.

    Thank heavens SA & India are still playing a test series, although SA has been trying to cram in as many ODIs as possible, for the same reason. CSA is chasing ODI money as much as anyone else. Like most posters here, I'd rather see 4 or 5 tests against India instead of more ODIs. We are #1 and don't get to pay many tests, & even our own board is just interested in making money. Thankfully India objected to the ODI schedule. They want to play tests! Seriously, thanks India.

  • Greatest_Game on July 16, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    @ bravetigersmustwin. You wrote that "SA is bad player of spin and cant bowl quality spin." That is a very sweeping statement, something like "India can't play pace, and can't bowl it!" You probably would not agree with that statement.

    It might help you to take a look at SA's record in India. Look at Amla's average on their last test tour to India, against spin, on spinning tracks. He averaged 490. Yes - 490. India dismissed him once in 3 innings, in which he scored 2 centuries and one double century. Kallis averaged a mere 67.66. Amla can pay spin!

    Is spin really that all important? On that tour Steyn averaged 20.27 at a SR of 35.3. Harbhajan was India's best at 28.9, SR 71.1 (Steyn's figures do say something about India's ability to play pace, don't they?)

  • gibbs.175 on July 16, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    Hi ..If AB will be play as wicket -keeper then for what ..D.KOCK been called.....Ab should play at no.4....********...D.Kock AMLA, Faf , AB, Farhaan / JP, Miller, Morris, M.Laren ,Robin , Morne ,Sobe

  • Shazy777 on July 15, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    Chadster in my opnion de kock is more suitable as a opner then ab.. de kock is young so he will develop with the help of senior patner amla at the other end. while ab bat at no 3 or4. so that all the other will bat around him...!!!

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 15, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    Wake me up when the pointless tour is over.

    Compare the level of intrigue and excitment between this tour and the current ashes series. Its chalk and cheese. When will administrators learn they need to give test cricket a chance and the public will support it more.

  • CricketChat on July 15, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    This is an ideal opportunity for De Villiers to show case his skills as a big time player for SA. His recent CT flop in Eng is a case in point that while he was a run away success in IPL and other domestic tournaments, he has come up short for SA when it mattered.

  • Shazy777 on July 15, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    my odi playing X1... 1.Hashim Amla, 2.Quinton de Kock 3.AB de Villiers (capt.) 4.JP Duminy 5.Faf du Plessis 6.David Miller 7.Ryan Mclaren 8.Robin Peterson 9.Chris Morris 10.Morne Morkel 11.Lonwabo Tsotsobe

  • chadster on July 15, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    @xolile, its the first time i hear that between zim and SA. and yes i agree, tour without test is meaningless, unless they think we goin to whitewash Sri and giv us points

  • BellCurve on July 15, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    I would still like to know why the Tests were cancelled. These are likely to be the most pointless tour since the five T20 matches against Zim. BTW Zim won those matches but for some obscure reason those matches were not awarded International status. Maybe these matches between SA and S-L should be stripped of their International status as well on the basis of complete meaninglessness.

  • chadster on July 15, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    AB at the moment is the best person for captaincy in the SA team with amla being vice captain. Two technicaly and mentally strong brains will do good for SA. I however disagree with the fact that some SA fans think that Ingram should be in the team, Yeah sure he did OK the las tourn, but it does not justify most of his previous weak performances. team for me is 1. Amla 2.De Villiers to open, who bat very well together. 3.FAF 4. Miller 5. De Kock, Duminy or H.Davids (giving them more game time) 6. Peterson 7. McLaren 8. Morkel 9. Morris 10. Phangiso 11. EXTRA BATSMEN OR BOWLER, just what i think....at work so cant recall any other good playas. please correct me if you think im wrong. T20 - 1. AB 2. H davids 3. De kock 4. FAF 5. Miller 6.Duminy 7. Peterson 8. McLaren 9. Morris 10. Van Der Merwe would b a good choice or Phangiso who offers nothing with the bat & 11. Morkel.....AGAIN, please correct me if you think im wrong, looking 4ward to your comments. Regards

  • KingOwl on July 15, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    SL is never great in bi-lateral home series. I suspect their commitment to these masala tournaments. Both the cricket board and the players deep down think that these are basically money making ventures. If SL took this tournament as seriously as a multi nation tournament, they can dominate. But more likely, it will be 2-3 or 3-2.

  • chadster on July 15, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    @marktc, dont mean to be rude, but.... FAF as CAPTAIN, i think you are totally rong there, we need a senior playa as captain, faf is a superd playa bt still needs to gain alot more experience in tough situations. @bravetigermustwin, i agree with the fact that SA is a bad playa of spin, something they have lacked 4 quite sometime now. but i do believe that the team will become stronger and mor focused, i do believe that Russel will make good and sound decisions as i believe that SA's failure starts with the selection panel. if we look at our T20 team, where is Henry Davids and De Kock, yes they failed a few times but dont you think they should have permanent positions to gain mor experience. look at davi Jacobs who failed countless times and stilll was selected, De kock being in 4 the up coming tour will be good 4 both himself and SA. India developes so many young up coming playas, playas who r selected, why cant SA do the same, our senior batsmen arent doing us any good at the moment

  • calcu on July 15, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    SA will begin as slight favourites

  • sweet2hrme on July 15, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    The whole year SAF team plays good cricket. But when big tournament comes or crunch time comes they CHOKE. .. so these comments dnt have any meaning..

  • yohandf on July 15, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    @ bravetigersmustwin , hotcric - Just wait and see how white wash is possible . it was actually achieved by Sri Lanka beating SA 5-0 last time . but i don't back them to repeat it this time . 3-2 score line for either side is on cards . SL XI for 1 st game 1) Tharanga 2) Kusal 3) Sanga 4) Chandimal 5) Mahela 6) Thirimanne 7) Thisara 8) Sachitra 9) Herath 10) Malinga 11) Eranga . If quick 2 wickets are down , Thiri should come in place of Chandi . Good luck Sri Lanka .

  • 9ST9 on July 15, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    @bravetigersmustwin you really are an expert, unfortunately Steyn is not playing for SA http://www.espncricinfo.com/sri-lanka-v-south-africa-2013/content/story/647597.html

  • bravetigersmustwin on July 15, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    SA is bad player of spin and cant bowl quality spin. Srilanka will make full use of this weakness. But AB de villers and steyn can really trouble the SL hyenas. SA must get some tips from Dhoni to whitewash SL. SL blowers rely on unorthodox bowling and malinga is completely ran out of his stuff and becoming predictable nowadays. Sa must make full use of Malinga and attack Herath. This will de-moralise the whole SL team. Pick 2 quick wickets of SL and the rest will collapse like cards. All the best SA - from Indian fan

  • on July 15, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    i think that ICC must call of now to ODI matches, no interest is remaining in ODI matches now, ICC must give preference to TEST CRICKET. ODI matches loose charm of old times, play T20 instead of ODI, ICC must ensure that every country play numbers of TEST MATCHES in every calender year.

  • on July 15, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    Cricket is unpredictable> Any thing can happen for luck, same way Dhoni scored 15 runs in 4 balls in the last over...... So no point of discussions.

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 15, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Thanks .@..hotcric01.....i wish you may right ,,,,lets see ,,,good luck for SA

  • Marktc on July 15, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    I am still not convinced AB is the best choice as captain. As a player, he is one of the most valuable assets, this together with him being a senior players serves us well. But in my opinion, he is not a captain. He may have leadership qualities, but I still would prefer somebody stronger, perhaps Faf. As for the series against SL, I am going out on a limb and saying SA will be beaten....I hope not, but I do think so..

  • hotcric01 on July 15, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    Singh1699.You re not correct.They have not played that well in their home grounds in recent history.They have won against two inconsistent teams Pakistan and New zealand.Nz are horrible in subcontinent even Bangladesh managed to win against them.But they have failed to India most of the time and even lost against an ordinary Australian side as 3-2.They are too tired either after two overseas tournaments.South africa come fresh and may have practiced well.Yes they are not too good against spin but likes of AB,JP and Amla are very good against Sri Lanka and Morkel's bounce and Tsotsobe's left arm angle will really trouble batsmen.So SA favorite as 4-1 or 3-2.

  • HPD 702 on July 15, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    good idea to make ab open the batting cos once ab can stay in for 6 overs, its almost impossible to get him out.

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 14, 2013, 23:31 GMT

    Hi SA fans ....Sri lanka is very strong on their home grounds ,even AUs Had to strugle under S.baugh.....this is not good time for SAF to start a new winning rhythm.....YES, Always SA lost their matches by own mistakes,even the opponents could not make a good efforts to beat them ....Spin is the biggest weakness for Sa batting line-up.....if Sa do down by 3- 2 i think ...this is good for SA ...

  • SamWintson92 on July 14, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    My Sou XI for 1st ODI: 1 Amla 2 Ingram 3 Duminy 4 De Villiers 5 Miller 6 Du Plessis 7 McLaren 8 Peterson 9 Morkel 10 Morris 11 Tsotsobe. a) The new coach looks decent to me. He's looking for stability than floating around & experimenting b) If De Kock makes the XI then De Villiers doesn't need to keep wickets c) De Villiers as a T20 opener isn't a bad strategy but I want to have Graeme Smith opening as well d) Duminy needs to come early at 3 I prefer as he takes some deliviries to get going e) The selection of Klienveldt is under question. Sou could have taken De Lange or Theron f) Imran Tahir or Van Der Merwe would have been better spinning options than Phangiso & Robin Peterson.

  • on July 14, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    All this talk, what a load of hogwash...actions speak louder than words...team play go look it up see what it means,,,no more kamp staaldraad kak.....go for a run as a team a long one at that & pick up the stragglers & work together as a team to cross the finish line together!

  • on July 14, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    All this talk, what a load of hogwash...actions speak louder than words...team play go look it up see what it means,,,no more kamp staaldraad kak.....go for a run as a team a long one at that & pick up the stragglers & work together as a team to cross the finish line together!

  • SamWintson92 on July 14, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    My Sou XI for 1st ODI: 1 Amla 2 Ingram 3 Duminy 4 De Villiers 5 Miller 6 Du Plessis 7 McLaren 8 Peterson 9 Morkel 10 Morris 11 Tsotsobe. a) The new coach looks decent to me. He's looking for stability than floating around & experimenting b) If De Kock makes the XI then De Villiers doesn't need to keep wickets c) De Villiers as a T20 opener isn't a bad strategy but I want to have Graeme Smith opening as well d) Duminy needs to come early at 3 I prefer as he takes some deliviries to get going e) The selection of Klienveldt is under question. Sou could have taken De Lange or Theron f) Imran Tahir or Van Der Merwe would have been better spinning options than Phangiso & Robin Peterson.

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 14, 2013, 23:31 GMT

    Hi SA fans ....Sri lanka is very strong on their home grounds ,even AUs Had to strugle under S.baugh.....this is not good time for SAF to start a new winning rhythm.....YES, Always SA lost their matches by own mistakes,even the opponents could not make a good efforts to beat them ....Spin is the biggest weakness for Sa batting line-up.....if Sa do down by 3- 2 i think ...this is good for SA ...

  • HPD 702 on July 15, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    good idea to make ab open the batting cos once ab can stay in for 6 overs, its almost impossible to get him out.

  • hotcric01 on July 15, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    Singh1699.You re not correct.They have not played that well in their home grounds in recent history.They have won against two inconsistent teams Pakistan and New zealand.Nz are horrible in subcontinent even Bangladesh managed to win against them.But they have failed to India most of the time and even lost against an ordinary Australian side as 3-2.They are too tired either after two overseas tournaments.South africa come fresh and may have practiced well.Yes they are not too good against spin but likes of AB,JP and Amla are very good against Sri Lanka and Morkel's bounce and Tsotsobe's left arm angle will really trouble batsmen.So SA favorite as 4-1 or 3-2.

  • Marktc on July 15, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    I am still not convinced AB is the best choice as captain. As a player, he is one of the most valuable assets, this together with him being a senior players serves us well. But in my opinion, he is not a captain. He may have leadership qualities, but I still would prefer somebody stronger, perhaps Faf. As for the series against SL, I am going out on a limb and saying SA will be beaten....I hope not, but I do think so..

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 15, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Thanks .@..hotcric01.....i wish you may right ,,,,lets see ,,,good luck for SA

  • on July 15, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    Cricket is unpredictable> Any thing can happen for luck, same way Dhoni scored 15 runs in 4 balls in the last over...... So no point of discussions.

  • on July 15, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    i think that ICC must call of now to ODI matches, no interest is remaining in ODI matches now, ICC must give preference to TEST CRICKET. ODI matches loose charm of old times, play T20 instead of ODI, ICC must ensure that every country play numbers of TEST MATCHES in every calender year.

  • bravetigersmustwin on July 15, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    SA is bad player of spin and cant bowl quality spin. Srilanka will make full use of this weakness. But AB de villers and steyn can really trouble the SL hyenas. SA must get some tips from Dhoni to whitewash SL. SL blowers rely on unorthodox bowling and malinga is completely ran out of his stuff and becoming predictable nowadays. Sa must make full use of Malinga and attack Herath. This will de-moralise the whole SL team. Pick 2 quick wickets of SL and the rest will collapse like cards. All the best SA - from Indian fan