De Villiers expects 'huge role' from Duminy

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Captain AB de Villiers has pinpointed aspiring spin bowler JP Duminy for a key performance ahead of South Africa's first ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday.

Captain AB de Villiers has pinpointed aspiring spin bowler JP Duminy for a key performance ahead of South Africa's first ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday.

Specialist slow bowlers Aaron Phangiso and Imran Tahir have been named in a strong squad, but Duminy's burgeoning status as an all-rounder will offer the composition of the XI due balance.

"I know some people don't see JP as a frontline spinner, but I certainly back him. He has really stepped up for us in the last two years, and I expect him to play a huge role again," said de Villiers.

The participation of the veteran Jacques Kallis, meanwhile, has been confirmed. Kallis, who retired from Test cricket late last year to prolong a prolific ODI career, is nursing a back injury – but will play on Sunday.

"Jacques is a huge player, and we expect him to play a big part until the World Cup. Yes, we will have to accommodate him, but this is Jacques Kallis we're talking about," added de Villiers. "He is ready to go. It's all a matter of how much he can bowl."

The South Africans' visit to Sri Lanka in 2013 brought heavy defeat. The hosts, meanwhile, have gathered plenty of success in 2014 – including Asia Cup and World Twenty20 tiles and a rare Test victory over England.

"They are very tough to beat at home, and that's why we have struggled here in the past. But saying that, after last year, and the year we have had, I am looking forward to us entertaining, and providing a very competitive series," concluded de Villiers.

"We learned a lot of lessons last time out, and this time we have come with some real experience. We obviously respect what Angelo Mathews and his team have achieved over the last year. T20 champions, winning in England, they are doing really well. We did quite a few things wrong last year but we've got a more experienced team now."

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