Preview: Proteas vs Sri Lanka (3rd ODI)

The Proteas take on Sri Lanka in the third ODI in Durban as they aim to clinch the series by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead, writes KHALID MOHIDIN. The... Read more

The Proteas take on Sri Lanka in the third ODI in Durban as they aim to clinch the series by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.

The Proteas look to seal the series with a win in the third ODI in Durban.

Based on their dominance in the opening two matches they will be expected to oblige. Their batting performances, however, have been poor, aside from the heroics from Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock. It’s now time for the rest of the Proteas batsmen to step up.

Aiden Markram is knocking on the World Cup selectors’ door with his third big score in a row. He scored two centuries and an 86 in three One-Day Cup games, which adds extra pressure on Reeza Hendricks, who is aiming to prove his worth as the Proteas’ potential World Cup opener.

Markram’s domestic form is also putting pressure on Hashim Amla’s position in the squad, but it will be hard to overlook the legend’s record and experience, especially in English conditions. Amla is the highest-scoring South African in England against England, with 571 runs at an average of 63.44 in 12 ODIs, so it will be hard to overlook the bearded genius.

Rassie van der Dussen has all but cemented his spot in the side, but another top performance by the 30-year-old will do wonders to solidify his position in the side.

Ottis Gibson seems to favour the two-all rounder system, but this would mean that the Proteas need to commit to a No 7 in three months. Wiaan Mulder, being a batting all-rounder, seems to be the favourable option, but he has yet to show his potential with the willow in the few chances he has had for the Proteas.

Considering the Proteas’ poor batting form, Sri Lanka only need to offer up one or two solid batting performances and they will give the home side a run for their money.

Players to Watch

David Miller has flown under the radar in the recent ODIs, but this is largely due to him not getting the chance to bat and coming in at unfavourable moments in the match. The third ODI is the perfect time for him to show his BMT and importance to the side. Perhaps Faf will decide to push some of his lower-order batsmen up the order to give them an opportunity to showcase their talent.

Sri Lanka need one of their batsmen to step up in the ODI series. Kusal Mendis has been the visitors’ top scorer in the first two ODIs, but it’s time for the likes of Kusal Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva to gain some momentum for their side, as they could prove to be dangerous weapons for the sub-continent side in England.

Probable Proteas XI
1) Reeza Hendricks
2) Quinton de Kock (wk)
3) Rassie van der Dussen
4) Faf du Plessis (c)
5) David Miller
6) Wiaan Mulder
7) Andile Phehlukwayo
8) Kagiso Rabada
9) Anrich Nortje
10) Imran Tahir
11) Lungi Ngidi

Probable Sri Lanka XI
1) Niroshan Dickwella (wk)
2) Avishka Fernando
3) Oshada Fernando
4) Kusal Mendis
5) Dhananjaya de Silva
6) Kusal Perera
7) Thisara Perera
8) Akila Dananjaya
9) Lasith Malinga (c)
10) Vishwa Fernando
11) Kasun Rajitha

The game starts at 10am on Sunday

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

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