Domingo: World Cup preparations start now

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South Africa haven't played international cricket since April, while Sri Lanka have just finished a three-series whitewash over England, but Proteas coach Russell Domingo is determined that the trip to Asia goes well.

South Africa haven't played international cricket since April, while Sri Lanka have just finished a three-series whitewash over England, but Proteas coach Russell Domingo is determined that the trip to Asia goes well.

The Proteas last played together at the World Twenty20, which Sri Lanka won, in early April, and Domingo is hoping to get the mammoth run of ODIs building up to the World Cup in 2015 off to a good start.

The sides will play three ODIs, starting on 6 July, followed by two Tests, and the coach is keen to improve the side's ODI ranking from four, ahead of the ICC event in Australasia in February.

Domingo said at the team's departure press conference in Johannesburg on Sunday: "There are still 26 ODIs to play before the World Cup. There's a lot of cricket to be played.

"When you get to the World Cup, you want to have confidence. You want to be one of the top sides in the world, and be the team to beat.

"I suppose in the lead-in to the tournament we want to get our positioning in the rankings higher.

"One thing is for sure, our preparation does start in earnest on this tour."

The Proteas played in Sri Lanka a year ago and it did not go as well as they would have liked, losing the five-match ODI series four-one. But they won the T20 series two-one, and Domingo chose to focus on the positive.

The coach insisted: "The way we finished the last series in Sri Lanka was encouraging.

"I know in the ODIs we lost 4-1, Hashim Amla played one match then he got sick, there was no Dale Steyn or Kallis.

"Last year was a big learning experience and now we welcome back some of the more experienced guys."

This time, Jacques Kallis is available and pushing for a World Cup place, at the age of 39. Domingo was pleased to have the all-rounder to call upon: "Having Jacques Kallis back, he brings a lot experience to the side.

"We're close to having a group of 17 or 18 players at the moment, its not rocket science and all these players can play for us at the World Cup."

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