South Africa’s bid for a five-nil whitewash over Sri Lanka has been buoyed by the absence of batsman Kusal Perera for the remainder of this month’s ODI series.
Perera has been sidelined by a hamstring injury sustained during the third ODI – and will miss matches four and five at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth and Newlands in Cape Town respectively.
He struck a record-breaking century during first their Test triumph against the South Africans at Kingsmead in Durban earlier this year.
The Proteas sport an unassailable three-nil series lead, after victories at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, SuperSport Park in Centurion and at Kingsmead.
Batsman Aiden Markram, JP Duminy and Hashim Amla have been recalled to the squad for the Port Elizabeth and Cape Town fixtures, while all-rounder Wiaan Mulder and opener Reeza Hendricks have been omitted.
‘We know what Hashim has got. Hashim has played a lot of cricket for South Africa. He’s got an amazing record. But we needed to make sure Reeza got an opportunity this series. If Hashim gets another opportunity coming back into the side, hopefully he grabs that with both hands,’ said captain Faf du Plessis.
‘The main concern for me with all the players is that you need make sure you put performances on the board to go to the World Cup. It’s about our best and most in-form team that’s going. Everyone in the dressing room knows that, and I believe it’s making us want to raise the bar on our own performance.’