THE Proteas’ team management have been at pain to point out that the recent T20 tour of Zimbabwe and the forthcoming home series against Sri Lanka “A” are not so much about winning as testing combinations and preparing for bigger things.
However true that may be, South African fans always want their teams to win and Faf du Plessis’ side will be expected to wipe away the stigma of defeat in Zimbabwe with victory in the unofficial two-Test series against Sri Lanka “A” over the next two weeks.
Both four-day games will be played at Kingsmead – with the first match starting tomorrow. It’s a venue where the senior SA team have forgotten how to win in recent times. “It’s something I’d like to sort out, and hopefully that will change,” Du Plessis said.
Du Plessis and coach Vinnie Barnes will point out that the lack of intensity and rustiness shown in Zimbabwe must be remedied in Durban. One of the interesting selections for the first match is that of Proteas leg-spinner Imran Tahir who should gain valuable practice before leaving for the Proteas’ pre-England tour camp in Switzerland next week.
Sri Lanka coach Romesh Kaluwitharana said: “We’ve got a lot of tours coming up and this trip offers the selectors the chance to see who can challenge for places in the senior team.”
South Africa A squad: Faf du Plessis (Titans, capt), Temba Bavuma (Lions), Farhaan Behardien (Titans), Dean Elgar (Knights), Simon Harmer (Warriors), Reeza Hendricks (Knights), Imran Tahir (Lions), Rory Kleinveldt (Cobras), Pumelela Matshikwe (Lions), Ryan McLaren (Knights), Justin Ontong (Cobras), Wayne Parnell (Warriors), Rilee Rossouw (Knights), Thami Tsolekile (Lions), Stiaan van Zyl (Cobras)
Sri Lanka A (from): Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Kusal Janith, Bhanuka Rajapaksha, Chamara Silva, Angelo Perera, Kaushal Silva, Roshane Silva, Sachithra Serasinghe, Kanishka Elvitigala, Dammika Prasad, Kosala Kulasekera, Tharanga Lakshitha, Nilanka Premaratne, Malinda Pushpakumara, Dilruwan Perera