Sri Lanka Aspire To Durban, The Charm Of The Series On The Game > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Sri Lanka crave for Durban charm with series at stake

Sri Lanka need a better batting performance to stay in the series.

People confounded by how different formats peacefully coexist in cricket should watch Sri Lanka's ongoing tour of South Africa. It's almost impossible to remember how good Sri Lanka were in the Test rubber, and how short of good they have looked in the ODI series, having lost two out of two convincingly. And come the third ODI in Durban, which will be a rare day fixture at the venue, nobody really expects a cricketing coup unless Sri Lanka decide to humiliate our assumptions, again.

Remember, this was where they won the first Test by one-wicket. And given how stadiums eerily impact a team's morale - like Australia and Ranchi, or India and Johannesburg - it will be foolish to rule Sri Lanka out.

It's not been the cricket's best display ever, this series. South Africa's batting shortcomings - and there are many - have been masked by how world-class their bowling is. Been bowled out for 251 despite Quinton de Kock's blazing 70-ball 94 at the top, South Africa found themselves coasting to a 113-run win, as Sri Lanka, short-staffed on resources, plummeted to a 2-0 series deficit.

The third ODI will be a chance for South Africa to not just seal the series, and hence build some more room for permutations and combinations, but also put on a more improved show with the bat. Clearly modern-day ODIs aren't won with bowling alone. Not against World Cup contenders in a pressure-cooker match.

Sri Lanka lacked experience in a tricky chase in Centurion, with captain Lasith Malinga expressing his frustration at players not grabbing their chances. There's going to be a lot of eyes on how Malinga captains, and on how the batsmen cope up with a very good bowling attack. But didn't they just decimate a similarly good line-up in Test cricket? Different worlds. And Sri Lanka need something good enough soon.

When: South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI at 10:00 AM LOCAL, 08:00 AM GMT, 1:30 PM IST

Where: Kingsmead, Durban

What to expect: It's seamed and swung in Durban in the last few ODIs, and expect more of the same. Few thundershowers are predicted right through the day

Team news:

South Africa

With a series win in sight, South Africa aren't expected to change the side.

Probable XI: Quinton de Kock(w), Reeza Hendricks, Faf du Plessis(c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Wiaan Mulder, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir

Sri Lanka

After the last game, Lasith Malinga stressed the batsmen need to take more responsibility. They can look to bring in the experienced Upul Tharanga in place of Avishka Fernando.

Probable XI: Niroshan Dickwella(w), Avishka Fernando/Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga(c), Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando

What they said:

"They have talent. That's why they're playing for the national team. They have to understand that. They have to understand their own value. We have done enough talking. Players have to realise they have to value these opportunities. They don't come around every day" - Lasith Malinga.

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