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South Africa to unveil new strategy

August 18, 2004 17:05 IST

South Africa are set to unveil a new one-day strategy when they start their five-match series against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Friday.

The tourists are trying to regroup from the disappointment of their first-ever Test series defeat to Sri Lanka, following their 313-run loss in the second match last Sunday.

Skipper Graeme Smith criticised his team afterwards for lacking "hunger, commitment and passion", but South Africa coach Eric Simons believes the side will respond well.

"It is going to be a very tough series, but we had a long team meeting on Monday to discuss some hard truths and the squad has responded well," Simons told reporters.

"We are going to make some changes from the strategy we have used in the past," Simons added. "When you go off the boil you can get nervous about experimenting.

"But we lost 5-1 in New Zealand (in March) and we know we have to do something different. When we go on to the field on Friday we will be very clear about what we are going to be doing."

One possible change could be the promotion of all rounder Lance Klusener up the order as a pinch-hitter.

Uncapped left-hander Jean-Paul Duminy is expected to play in the middle order.

Duminy, who also bowls part-time off breaks, won selection after a prolific first-class 75.57 average last year.

Pace bowler Andre Nel, who missed the chance to test his sore back when South Africa's only practice match was washed out on Wednesday, is likely to sit out the first game with batsman Martin van Jaarsveld and spinner Nicky Boje.

Sri Lanka will be without world record Test wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan, who has been ruled out for at least four months following shoulder surgery.

But the Asian Cup champions remain full of confidence.

"The tough cricket we have had against Australia (in July) started things off and the guys have really grown in confidence in recent weeks," coach John Dyson told Reuters.

"Obviously the loss of Murali leaves us with big shoes to fill, but we drew a test without him in Australia and we won against South Africa without him.

"The guys are starting to feel that they can perform without him and until he returns this is a great opportunity to prove that."

Sri Lanka are likely to stick with a similar line-up to the one that won the Asian Cup earlier this month.

Spinners Rangana Herath and Kaushal Lokuarachchi are favourites to be called up in place of Muralitharan.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Mark Boucher, Nicky Boje, Alan Dawson, Jean-Paul Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Jacques Rudolph, Lance Klusener, Makhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Robin Peterson, Andre Nel, Martin van Jaarsveld

Sri Lanka: Marvan Atapattu (captain), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Saman Jayantha, Avishka Gunawardene, Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Upul Chandana, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Zoysa, Dilhara Fernando

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