South Africa will have Sri Lanka as visitors for almost a two-months tour. The team will play three Tests, Three T20s and five ODI matches. Starting from December 18, 2016, the test matches will be played till January 16 of the next year. T20 fixtures will follow the long format, after which, the ODIs will be played. The fifth ODI will be played on February 10 at Centurion. Prior to this long tour, both the teams are busy planning their squads for the best formation to dealing with the formats. The team has declared the Test Squads, which is the first format of the tournament.
Per the latest report, AB de Villiers has stepped down as the test captain passing on the baton to Faf du Plessis. The player will take over the captaincy permanently for the team. De Villiers is also dropped from the Test squad owning to his serious elbow injury. The player is recovering from the elbow surgery now and would take considerable time to recover. He already missed two test series including that with Australia. He said that his team has performed strong, endorsing the stance of du Plessis in the previous test matches.
De Villiers played last in July at the Caribbean Premier League. He was expected to be fit for the Series with Sri Lanka, but is reported to need about three to four more weeks to play again. Expectedly, de Villers will be available only for ODI matches that are set to begin in January 28. On the other hand, du Plessis might be debarred from playing in the First Test match, due to the ongoing tiff of ball tampering charges. He is under the risk of a one-match ban due to ball tempering charges in the match against Australia. Rilee Rossouw was potent as a reserve batsman, but a foot injury deemed the possibility. This gave out the chances for Omphile Ramela, the SA Invitation XI Captain, to play. However, he is not under serious consideration.
In Sri Lanka's side, Angelo Mathews has returned from a hiatus due to multiple injuries. The bowler is among the frontline attacks of his team in the test matches. He is quite confident on fitness and is expecting to bowl a lot in the series. He said that the South African condition is much favorable for him than Asia, where the ball supports good seam and movements. Mathews was injured on his hamstring and calves, due to which, he missed several tournaments. The heavy workload for the player came up as a bane. Sri Lanka has inducted Vikum Sanjaya as a fast bowler in the Test squad. Dinesh Chandimal and Dushmantha Chameera will also join the team.
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