AB wants improved Proteas performance

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iol spt july5 Parnell-Nets Reuters AB de Villiers wants an improved performance from the Proteas in the three-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka. Photo by: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Johannesburg – AB de Villiers says he expects an improved performance from the Proteas in the three-match one-day international (ODI) series against Sri Lanka starting in Colombo on Sunday.

South Africa were defeated 4-1 last year, and will take important lessons into the opening encounter at the 30 000-seater R Premadasa stadium.

“We did quite a few things wrong last year,” De Villiers said on Saturday.

“I feel we have a more experienced team with the return of Kallis. He has been working with some of the younger guys on how to play spin properly and I think the guys learnt valuable lessons individually on how to play spin here last year.

“We have also learnt how to look after the weather. It makes it difficult to build an innings and partnerships.”

Kallis is likely to be available for selection for Sunday's match, subject to his condition on Sunday morning.

Kallis, 38, has been struggling with stiffness in his upper back, but has responded well to treatment and took full part in training on Saturday.

De Villiers said the six days together in Colombo had helped the team acclimatise to the conditions, and to gel as a unit after a seven-month break from ODI cricket.

The Proteas are wary of a strong and confident Sri Lankan outfit, who are ranked third in the ICC ODI rankings.

South Africa are in fifth place on the rankings table and will rise to second place with a series win.

“Sri Lanka play really good cricket at home,” De Villiers said.

“They know their conditions really well. We haven't played well here in the past and I feel they have a good team with lots of experience.

“I think we have learnt from our past experiences and I'm sure we will be a better team this time around.” – Sapa


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