De Villiers: Proteas will look to build on ODI form


South Africa captain AB de Villiers says the ODI series against Sri Lanka, starting on Saturday, will be an opportunity to build momentum ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June.

The squad will be looking to continue with their consistency in performances following the 5-0 win against Australia, and will have 13 matches to trial and assess game plans ahead of the tournament.

The skipper makes an anticipated return after more than six months on the side-lines, and is raring to get back into action after the injury layoff.

De Villiers said in Port Elizabeth on Friday: “We are in a really good space. After the West Indies series you can see with the way that we have been playing that it is a happy group of players. The team spirit is good and the culture is in place.

“I think the guys feel fresh, everyone feels like they belong and they have a role to play.

“I’m very keen to play tomorrow, I can’t wait. I have been out of the game for a long time. I have been hitting the ball better than ever. I have to get the mind in the right place tomorrow and be prepared to work hard for my runs like I always have.

“Hopefully I will do well for the team.”

De Villiers says the loss of young fast bowler, Lungi Ngidi, is unfortunate, but has been impressed by the potential he has shown in the T20 International series.

“It’s great to see him come through. He has a great future ahead of him and he will need to be managed really well. He has a long road to travel but the talent is certainly there, the mind is there, he has a great head on his shoulder.

“Personality-wise and mentally, I feel he is really strong, he has showed that over the last few games.”

The selectors have yet to finalise the starting XI, with rain around the area opening up different options in traditionally dry and spin-friendly conditions.

“We have two spinners in the squad so it’s always a possibility and an option for us. With this rain around, a little bit of grass on the wicket, we may look at just one spinner. At the moment we have a squad of 14 players and any of them can play.”