Sri Lanka’s historic 2-0 Test series sweep seems like it happened a long time ago as the visitors have been dominated by the Faf du Plessis-led side in the ODI series.
The batting has been a major issue for the away team. The likes of Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis and Thisara Perera have managed to score some runs but the overall failure of the team has overshadowed that.
The highest score they have been able to put up thus far in the series has been 231, meaning it is up to the batsmen to step up in the remaining two games to give their bowlers something to bowl at.
However, the bowling unit hasn’t been up to scratch either. They have taken a combined 17 wickets in the series thus far – hardly a recipe for success.
To make matters worse, none of their bowlers have managed to take more than 2 wickets in an innings thus far, putting the onus on the likes of Lasith Malinga and Akila Dananjaya to do more.
South Africa have put the Test series behind them and have been in fine fettle during the ODI series. The batting, led by Quinton de Kock, has looked solid but skipper Du Plessis said that he expects more from them.
The batting ranks will get bolstered by the presence of JP Duminy, Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram for the final two games. Hashim Amla had originally been recalled but will miss the games on compassionate leave.
The bowling unit has also done well to contain the Sri Lankan batsmen during the series and will hope to continue to perform well with the World Cup looming.
Lungi Ngidi has been among the wickets and Anrich Nortje, who claimed 3 scalps in the last two games, could also get another look-in as the Proteas look to bolster their pace unit ahead of the World Cup.
But barring a major change in fortunes, South Africa seem in a good position to claim another victory against a Sri Lanka side struggling for form and rhythm.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Reeza Hendricks, Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, Imran Tahir, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen.
Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (c), Avishka Fernando, Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Angelo Perera, Oshada Fernando, Kamindu Mendis, Priyamal Perera, Isuru Udana, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan.
First Published: March 12, 2019, 8:05 PM IST