Posted at Mar, 19 2019, 11:17 AM
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis believes his team is where it needs to be but their Vision 2019 - of winning their first-ever 50-over World Cup - has now transcended formats. Cricket South Africa's national selection panel convener Linda Zondi earmarked the first T20I of the three-match series, starting on Tuesday (March 19), as part of the agenda for exploring options for the upcoming 50-over World Cup. With a major T20I tournament not in sight, the plan is not a bad idea.
Zondi confirmed Hashim Amla is still unavailable due to personal reasons, but there are quite a few big names in the squad for the first T20I who will be starters in England at the showpiece event.
World Cup is in the plans in the away dressing room too, but they've chosen a slightly different approach. Steve Rixon, who was recently appointed as the fielding coach of Sri Lanka, will now also be the 'acting head coach' of the team while the under-fire Chandika Hathurusinghe has returned to Sri Lanka to hatch plans for the showpiece event. This move comes after Sri Lanka suffered a complete annihilation at the hands of the hosts in the five-match ODI series, sullying their dream start to the tour with a Test series victory.
Sri Lanka come into the T20I rubber at the back of four defeats in last five T20Is, and in need of an immediate halt to the rut they've slipped into once more. The T20Is gives them a chance to prove that their resurgence in the Tests from a very tough period at the highest level wasn't a flash-in-the-pan occurrence.
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