Attempts To Continue, As South Africa In Search Of The Ideal Combinations > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Experiments to continue as South Africa search for ideal combinations

Faf du Plessis still isn't satisfied with his batsmen and feels there's more room for improvement.

After having sealed the five-match series, South Africa couldn't have asked for a better opportunity to experiment ahead of the World Cup. Make no mistake, like many teams, they too are struggling with combination issues and have two ODIs left to sort things out.

After struggling with batting issues in the first two ODIs, South Africa managed to find some form in the third ODI as they took an unassailable lead with an easy win. Despite thoroughly dominating the series, Faf du Plessis still isn't satisfied with his batsmen and feels there's more room for improvement. "If you're doing okay, that's not enough. We want those standards to be higher and better, because that's what is going to be the difference," the Proteas skipper had said after the game in Durban.

While the bowlers have been exceptional, the focus in the last two games will be on the batsmen. There are opportunities on offer and several candidates are looking to make a last minute dash into the World Cup squad. Reeza Hendricks's poor returns meant the selectors were forced to recall Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla. The latter has been ruled out of the series because of his father's illness. Markram, back in the side after magnificent form in the Momentum One-Day Cup, is set to be back in national colours while JP Duminy has proven his fitness and will be hungry to regain lost ground.

Sri Lanka have been astoundingly hapless. After the win in the Test series, all the hopes that were revived have diminished in a jiffy. While the bowlers have managed to somewhat keep South Africa in check, the batsmen have had no hesitation in surrendering throughout the three games so far. They have four ODIs to make a statement and show they are worthy of a place in the ten-team mega event.

What: South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 4th ODI, 1pm local time, 1630 IST

Where: St George's Park, Port Elizabeth

What to expect: The bowlers are expected to have some say in the contest with the pitch offering some assistance. Clear weather also expected with plenty of sun.

Teams news:

South Africa: Aiden Markram is set to open with Quinton de Kock while JP Duminy is also expected to find a place in the XI.

Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera has been ruled out of the series with a hamstring injury and Sri Lanka are likely to turn to the experience of Upul Tharanga to fill the void. The move will also force them to rejig the batting order.

What they said:

"We can't have a mediocre batting line-up and one or two guys performing at the World Cup. We need two or three guys every single game to put their hand up" - Faf du Plessis.

Teams:

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Reeza Hendricks, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP 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 Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Angelo Perera, Oshada Fernando, Kamindu Mendis, Priyamal Perera, Isuru Udana, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan.

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