South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka: Five Proteas players who can make an impact
South Africa have landed in Sri Lanka to play a five-match one-day series and three T20 internationals marking a new beginning for them as Russell Domingo takes over the team. Domingo was the assistant coach of the team during Gary Kirsten’s two-year reign and hence it is likely to be a smooth transition.
The team will be without Jacques Kallis, as well as Graeme Smith, and is not drastically different from the squad that travelled to England for the Champions Trophy. South Africa performed moderately well at the competition but they were unable to get the monkey of the ‘chokers’ tag off their backs. Conditions in Sri Lanka will be drastically different from those that they came across in England and they will need to negotiate with a great deal of spin.
South Africa will be without their most lethal asset, that is Dale Steyn but fortunately, Morne Morkel has overcome his injury woes in time to be a part of this tour. The bowling department lacks that spark without Steyn but there is enough diversity and heat in the attack to challenge the Sri Lankan batting line-up. South Africa’s performance with the willow was more than satisfactory at the Champions Trophy, until they capitulated against some quality swing bowling on an assisting surface against England in the semi-finals. AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla will bear a lot of the responsibility in that relatively inexperienced batting order.
Here is a list of five players who can make an impact in the series against the Sri Lankan lions:
5. Chris Morris
Morris flew to England after Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were sidelined due to injury during the Champions Trophy. He made an immediate impact giving an impressive return of 2/25 in his 7 overs on his ODI debut. He has the experience of bowling in the sub-continent due to his stint in the IPL with Chennai Super Kings, where he was one of the highest wicket takers. Morris will have to compete for a place in the playing eleven, given that South Africa might choose to go with 3 fast bowlers (Morkel, Tsotsobe, Kleinveldt/Morris, Phangiso), whereas JP Duminy and others can pitch in with the rest of the overs. However, his performance against the SL Board President’s XI encourages his inclusion as he finished with 3/27.