Spin is set to play a key role in the Castle Lager Proteas’ strategy in the upcoming five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka starting in Colombo on Saturday. Proteas captain, AB de Villiers, says he still expects his seamers to be effective upfront, but has backed the new three-pronged spin attack to deliver under conducive conditions.
“It’s about time that we move into that mindset where we can play two frontline spinners, especially when conditions allow us to do so, “ de Villiers said in front of a full media contingent at the R. Premadasa stadium on Friday. “We are looking to go with two frontline spinners and with JP as another option, and I truly believe that we have the potential to win games from a spin bowling department. We have Claude Henderson who has got a lot of experience and he has brought a positive mindset to the team from a spin perspective.”
South Africa and Sri Lanka have played in 14 matches on the sub-continent, with Sri Lanka holding a firm advantage with 10 wins. The skipper insists his troops are extremely motivated to improve on past results, but are aware it will be made challenging by a strong Sri Lankan team.
“We are very motivated,” de Villiers confidently remarked. “If you look at the history, South Africa hasn’t done well in Sri Lanka so this is the perfect opportunity for us to turn things around; we have the potential and talent in the team to do so.
“The mood is very good, I think we are in a good space,” he continued. “We know it’s going to be a challenging series but we are definitely up for it. I truly believe we have the potential to upset Sri Lanka in their home conditions. We have all the firing power, and I’m excited by the hunger for success that I sense from the players.”
Morne Morkel showed progressive signs during training on Friday, however a decision on his availability for selection will only be made late on Saturday before the toss.