Dubai: South Africa have recalled Aiden Markram, JP Duminy and Hashim Amla for the fourth and fifth one-day international (ODI) against Sri Lanka. In spite of securing the series 3-0, South Africa are fiddling with their combinations with an eye on the 50-over World Cup.
Markram has been in brilliant form in the domestic cricket, followed up back-to-back centuries with 43-ball 85 in the One-Day Cup. Duminy, who last appeared for an international match in October, has recovered from a shoulder injury. He proved his fitness with two half-centuries for Cape Cobras on his comeback.
Meanwhile, selectors are convinced that Amla will bring in his knowledge and experience with World Cup in mind. Experience is always a key factor in major tournaments such as the ICC Men’s World Cup, said Linda Zondi, selection panel convener.
We will use the final two matches in the ODI series to continue to examine all the options that are available to us as far as the World Cup squad is concerned,” Zondi said.
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis urged the players to utilise their opportunity in the series against Sri Lanka.
“The main concern for me with all the players is that you need [to] make sure you put performances on the board to go to the World Cup. It is about our best and most in-form team that is going. Everyone in the dressing room knows that, and I believe it is making us want to raise the bar on our own performance,” du Plessis said.
Apart from the comebacks, Reeza Hendricks and Wiaan Mulder will warm the bench in the remaining two matches, while Anrich Nortje will get a chance to prove himself. With Nortje in the race, Dale Steyn might continue to sit out of the XI. However, du Plessis dismissed concerns that Steyn would not make it to the World Cup squad.
“Dale understands. Anrich needs to play some games. That is a position that still needs to be selected. As far as Dale is concerned, he is going to the World Cup. So we need to make sure who is our next fast bowler, and if we want to take a next fast bowler,” du Plessis said.
South Africa will meet Sri Lanka for the fourth ODI on March 13 at Port Elizabeth, followed with the fifth match on March 16 at Cape Town.