South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Paarl January 10, 2012

de Villiers' time at the top starts

  shares 42

Match facts

January 11, Paarl
Start time 14:30 (12:30 GMT)

The Big Picture

Before the Test series, the gulf in quality between the two sides seemed unbridgeable, though Sri Lanka went on to pull off one of the upsets of the decade in Durban before surrendering the series. In the one-day format, the teams are more evenly matched, as the rankings show - South Africa are third with 116 points, while Sri Lanka are fourth with 112. Also Sri Lanka's attack gets the cutting edge it lacked in the Tests with the return of Lasith Malinga, among the most feared bowlers in the limited-overs game.

While the bowling line-up of both teams is likely to be radically different from the Cape Town Test, South Africa have the added change of having a new full-time one-day captain. Graeme Smith's long reign having coming to an end, it is AB de Villiers who now takes the helm - an extra responsibility for someone who played as a specialist batsman two years ago. Now he has the MS Dhoni-like role of being captain, key batsman and wicketkeeper.

The other captain will also be under pressure, with both runs and wins proving elusive. Tillakaratne Dilshan is yet to win either a Test or major one-day series since taking over after the World Cup, and murmurs over him being replaced will only get louder if there is another mis-step this series.

Both sides have been in indifferent form in recent one-dayers. South Africa lost their only one-day series since the World Cup, going down to Australia, while Sri Lanka have failed in all their series against major opposition in that period.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

South Africa LWLLW
Sri Lanka LLLWL

Watch out for...

2011 was Lasith Malinga's most productive year in one-dayers so far. He topped the charts with 48 wickets, including two hat-tricks and three five-wicket hauls. On what is likely to be a batsman's track, against a formidable South African top order, Malinga's grab bag of tricks could prove pivotal to the outcome.

JP Duminy has been out of the Test side for nearly a year now, but remains an integral part of the South African one-day outfit. His ability to bat at several gears makes him a valuable part of the middle order, while his part-time offspin lends balance. His razor-sharp fielding is an added bonus.

Team news

de Villiers hinted that Wayne Parnell would miss out and that South Africa will consider two spinners for the game.

South Africa: (probable) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Faf du Plessis 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Johan Botha, 9 Robin Peterson, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe / Morne Morkel

The Sri Lanka top six all pick themselves, while the bowling could be very different from the Cape Town Test. Malinga is a certainty, Dilhara Fernando is fit after a knee problem that kept him out of the final Test, while Nuwan Kulasekara and Ajantha Mendis are also expected to play.

Sri Lanka: (probable) 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Mahela Jayawardene, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Thisara Perera / Kosala Kulasekara, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Dilhara Fernando, 11 Ajantha Mendis

Pitch and conditions

Slow and low is the usual character of the Paarl pitch. Rory Kleinveldt, the local lad, said that he expects 280 or 290 to be a good first-innings score. It's going to be scorching day, with the temperature set to peak at 35 degrees.

Stats and trivia

  • Among major teams, Sri Lanka and South Africa are the sides who have played the least cricket against each other in recent times. Since January 2005, Sri Lanka have played only seven ODIs against South Africa, while they faced India 50 times during the same period.
  • de Villiers has been in fantastic form in one-dayers over the past three years, averaging 62.65 with a strike rate around 100.

For a full stats analysis, click here.

Quotes

"There are spots up for grabs, the team is definitely not set."
AB de Villiers hints that the series against Sri Lanka could inform South Africa's long term ODI plans

"Every team is getting used to the two new balls strategy now. We played with those conditions against Pakistan in UAE. Everyone is used to playing with two new balls now."
Tillakaratne Dilshan does not believe two new balls will give South Africa's attack an advantage

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY SLMaster on | January 11, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    Why wasn't Thisara Perera not selected... who in fact a very good ODI player and bowls better than Fernando. When are we going to see end of Fernando. Everyone blamed Jayasuriya for staying in the team. Jayasuriya deserve spot in national team now if Fernando deserve a spot.

  • POSTED BY mohanan on | January 11, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Can anyone tell me why this two new ball rule came? I think it is disadvantageous to the spinners and speedsters good at reverse swinging (eg. Abdul Razzack)

  • POSTED BY kolusu on | January 11, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    south africa will win 200 percent because off batting lineup very strong with devillers

  • POSTED BY Ameega on | January 11, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Sid appeared to be self-satisfied again and again by saying the Durban win of SL is one of the upsets of the decade. You could list some more upsets (for you) in last century, including, SL getting test status, winning WC in 1996, SJ's 340 against India, Dismissing India for 54 in 2000 (or so), Murali getting 800 wickets, to be name just a few. Be happy, until more miracles happen in Australia! By the way, good luck both teams, SA and SL in the first ODI!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    lasith malinga ,hey I like to see four ball, four wickets again this series

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    4 seamers in SL lineup on a slow pitch? are they serious??

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    hope in this new year Lions will come back strongly. SA side not looks as attacking as their test side. Malinga's present Will add a timely boost for the sri lankans. Any way my personal opinion is that there shlud be a change of captaincy for SL. Give a Chance to Angelo. ALL DA BEST SRI LANKA.

  • POSTED BY yasask on | January 11, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    1. upul tharanga/tillakaratne dilshan 2. mahela jayawardene 3. dinesh chandimal (wk) 4. tillakaratne dilshan/upul tharanga 5. kumar sangakkara (more reliable than dilshan so better for a lower position, despite having more skill, talent, flair and a natural top order batsman) 6. angelo mathews 7. kosala kulasekara/ideally should be jeevan mednis but hes not in the squad 8. rangana herath 9. nuwan kulasekara 10. lasith malinga 11. dilhara fernando

  • POSTED BY Mid_Wicket on | January 11, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    i think we have missed chamara silva in this squad.

  • POSTED BY oppasidp on | January 11, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    hai.Eventhough iam an Indian,iam a great fan of south Africans. Now I wish AB De Villiers to start his captaincy with a great sucess by winning this series 5-0. May be smith will get more time to concentrate on his batting. iam pretty happy to see albie back in the team after long time. I believe that johan botha & dale steyn will be the key of success today in bowling while Ab & kallis will score a big Hundreds in batting followed by huge hitting by Aldie & Duminy in the lower order.

    Any way advance wishes to my favorite time South Africa & my new Captain Ab De Villiers.

    Thanks oppas.

  • POSTED BY SLMaster on | January 11, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    Why wasn't Thisara Perera not selected... who in fact a very good ODI player and bowls better than Fernando. When are we going to see end of Fernando. Everyone blamed Jayasuriya for staying in the team. Jayasuriya deserve spot in national team now if Fernando deserve a spot.

  • POSTED BY mohanan on | January 11, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Can anyone tell me why this two new ball rule came? I think it is disadvantageous to the spinners and speedsters good at reverse swinging (eg. Abdul Razzack)

  • POSTED BY kolusu on | January 11, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    south africa will win 200 percent because off batting lineup very strong with devillers

  • POSTED BY Ameega on | January 11, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Sid appeared to be self-satisfied again and again by saying the Durban win of SL is one of the upsets of the decade. You could list some more upsets (for you) in last century, including, SL getting test status, winning WC in 1996, SJ's 340 against India, Dismissing India for 54 in 2000 (or so), Murali getting 800 wickets, to be name just a few. Be happy, until more miracles happen in Australia! By the way, good luck both teams, SA and SL in the first ODI!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    lasith malinga ,hey I like to see four ball, four wickets again this series

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    4 seamers in SL lineup on a slow pitch? are they serious??

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    hope in this new year Lions will come back strongly. SA side not looks as attacking as their test side. Malinga's present Will add a timely boost for the sri lankans. Any way my personal opinion is that there shlud be a change of captaincy for SL. Give a Chance to Angelo. ALL DA BEST SRI LANKA.

  • POSTED BY yasask on | January 11, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    1. upul tharanga/tillakaratne dilshan 2. mahela jayawardene 3. dinesh chandimal (wk) 4. tillakaratne dilshan/upul tharanga 5. kumar sangakkara (more reliable than dilshan so better for a lower position, despite having more skill, talent, flair and a natural top order batsman) 6. angelo mathews 7. kosala kulasekara/ideally should be jeevan mednis but hes not in the squad 8. rangana herath 9. nuwan kulasekara 10. lasith malinga 11. dilhara fernando

  • POSTED BY Mid_Wicket on | January 11, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    i think we have missed chamara silva in this squad.

  • POSTED BY oppasidp on | January 11, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    hai.Eventhough iam an Indian,iam a great fan of south Africans. Now I wish AB De Villiers to start his captaincy with a great sucess by winning this series 5-0. May be smith will get more time to concentrate on his batting. iam pretty happy to see albie back in the team after long time. I believe that johan botha & dale steyn will be the key of success today in bowling while Ab & kallis will score a big Hundreds in batting followed by huge hitting by Aldie & Duminy in the lower order.

    Any way advance wishes to my favorite time South Africa & my new Captain Ab De Villiers.

    Thanks oppas.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    SA got a power packed outfit, had better get their act together or its curtains for them, mainly dilshan

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | January 11, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    Chandimal can play middle order better as he had a good test series.. A room is created to move Mahela in top order.. SA can do with 3 seamers and RJP in place of Faf..

  • POSTED BY tanstell87 on | January 11, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    Its going to be a cracker of a series just like last year against India....the day-nighters in SA are just brilliant to watch...SL needs to be top of their game if they have to come close to beat SA...all the best to both teams from a Mumbaikar from India...!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    sri lanka's first match in last 3 odi series are awful. scores 121 vs England,207vs Australia,132 vs Pakistan. hope they will change this in this series. go lanka go. chillax.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | January 11, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    It'll come down to SL's batting which has haunted them since the WC. SA will score runs against this attack, Malinga may add some nerves but the rest of the attack is not going to bother SA too much. The decisive factor will be if the SL batters can chase or get a decent score against thei SA attack. Important time for AB, and SA will be hoping captaincy will not have an impact on his performance (unlike Dilshan). Its alot to cover (captain, wkt keeper and top order bat) but I guess one can always draw from the WC finalists where both captains did all three duties.

  • POSTED BY Thisa4 on | January 11, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    My sl team dilshan,tharanga,mahala,chandimal,sanga,mathiws,perera,nuwan,hearth,mali,mendis(because of this pitch hearth is better than dilhara.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    I believe it is better to use Rangana Herath instead of Dilhara Fernando to maintain the balance of the team,2 spinners and 4 pace bowlers....Srilankan batting line up collapsed in everymatch against Pakistan series and also in the practice match against Emerging Cape Cobras.One stage they were 247/8 in 43.2 overs.So, either they should think about an extra batsman like Lahiru Thirimanne at the middle order instead of playing 5 fast bowlers..So the team should be 1.Upul 2.Dilshan 3.Kuma 4.Chandimal 5.Mahela 6.Mathews 7.Thirimanne/Rangana 8.Thisara 9.Kulasekara 10.Malinga 11.Mendis

  • POSTED BY dushera on | January 11, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    hopefully lions will perform well against boks.. go SL!!!

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | January 11, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    According to cricinfo, Mahela made the World 11 Team of 2011 for ODIs, but his current form is not good at all. If he continues to fail (and either Tharanga or Dilshan fail as well), he should be placed back up at the top of the order where he averages 50+. This should be experimented with early since there is a tri series in Australia after this and the T20 WC later this year

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    Given dilshan age and ability to lead team, I think Srilanka should consider some younger options for a leader. I think Angelo can be a good choice.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    This is the series which Sri Lanka must win & they will play well all upcoming matches with Strong combination,50 format is easier to SL than opposite side, at least 4-1 series needed

  • POSTED BY kalins on | January 11, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    SL if more powerful in ODIs. SA should not expect the same game like they seen last few weeks. Beware of lions, they sleep alot and awake with roars. Lets wish all lankan lions to go high and beat SA with passion. They are still spirit of cricket.....Enjoy the games starting from today..see how fire crackers flying over SA feilders.

  • POSTED BY Apurva76 on | January 11, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    It's high time to make Mahela as the permanent opener !!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    Mahela should open the ODI's and T20's...If he does we can win more matches like he did foe last few years. I really don't know why when he is doing well in opening why he is not getting enough opportunity???

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | January 10, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    If Mahela fails ,will he be given the opening slot to spur him up? Ranil Herath - Kent

  • POSTED BY nipuna27 on | January 10, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    I would play Rangana Herath for Dilhara

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    Dilshan should have never been the captain of Sri Lanka team, purely by the logic given by Sangakkara when he stepped down. Sanga said it was time to give a young player to groom for captaincy for next world cup, and Dilshan is older than Sangakkara, he was always a filler captain. I wonder who will lead SL in future.

  • POSTED BY Lion_96 on | January 10, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    this could be Dilshan's last series as captain. another loss, would mean we have, since the world cup final last year, lost ODI & Test Series to England, Australia, Pakistan & South Africa. Losing four series on the trot, will seal anyone's coffin. Tall order, but I do hope we can win this series...for our sake!

  • POSTED BY MH19 on | January 10, 2012, 20:13 GMT

    No excuse for Sri Lanka and we are a oneday side compaired to test.2011 World Cup runners up and Malinga is in and I believe SL can now play their own game in 50 over format and should win the series in South africa and this is a good indicator atleast SL is on track with this format of the game.Looking at the side SL should do well.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    Sri Lanka's attack gets the cutting edge it lacked in the Tests with the return of Lasith Malinga, among the most feared bowlers in the limited-overs game.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    I hope they do not drop Morne, his one day game is much better than his test cricket game. He is the best rated South African and has been rated above Steyn consistently over the last while for a reason. If he was to be dropped it should have happened in the Tests.

  • POSTED BY duncanmoo on | January 10, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    If you ask me SA tried too many changes for their WC bid, so it is good to see a solid team. I think Johan Botha and Robin Peterson are a far better option than trying to pic Tahir for ODIs for now.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    Imran Tahir should be in final XI. He has played exceptional last world cup.

  • POSTED BY Major_Hammad on | January 10, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    Best of Luck to AB Devilliers for Capitancy Debut and superb batting performances. Hope AB Devillers will be one of best captain of history.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    This might be like harping on the same string, but why is the world's best fielder, arguably the Johnty Rhodes of this generation, being wasted behind the stumps? SA is allready in experimentation, so why not experiment with the keeper's position as well?

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    What? Two new balls in SA fast tracks wouldn't matter........another hint of wisdom from ma' man Dilshan!!!

  • POSTED BY royalg on | January 10, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    S.A. should not pick 2 spinners, tat wud help sri lanka more. they shud stick to there strenght which is pace and better to hav tsotosbe nd morkel, luking at S.A. its a pwerful unit havin albie at 7 and botha 8

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Sri lanka, will strike back in the onday series.... thy have the strength... all they need is trust there abilities and forget the past.... u can do it sri lanka....ALL THE BEST....

  • POSTED BY HankasHarry on | January 10, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Interesting. I wonder what it would take for Philander to make the ODI squad. Based on his economy rate at test level, he should be close to a ODI callup. I also hope Johan Botha gets some quality batting time, he is underrated in this department.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    Chandimal Should bat @ no 3..sanga 4...Malinga will be the Series Decider!!!Come on Lions Let show how strong we are in Limited Overs!!!

  • POSTED BY Lakpj on | January 10, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    "though Sri Lanka went on to pull off one of the upsets of the decade in Durban" hahaa. Another Indian attacks at the Lankans. Who do you think SL is? SA is a team that never performs consistently to its full potential and SL took the advantage of it. Keep on dreaming, mate the upset of the decade would be India beating Aus in one of the remaining tests in down under.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Sri Lanka better have Mendis and Herath in the playing eleven tomorrow and win is a very high likelihood!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Sri Lanka better have Mendis and Herath in the playing eleven tomorrow and win is a very high likelihood!

  • POSTED BY Lakpj on | January 10, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    "though Sri Lanka went on to pull off one of the upsets of the decade in Durban" hahaa. Another Indian attacks at the Lankans. Who do you think SL is? SA is a team that never performs consistently to its full potential and SL took the advantage of it. Keep on dreaming, mate the upset of the decade would be India beating Aus in one of the remaining tests in down under.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    Chandimal Should bat @ no 3..sanga 4...Malinga will be the Series Decider!!!Come on Lions Let show how strong we are in Limited Overs!!!

  • POSTED BY HankasHarry on | January 10, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Interesting. I wonder what it would take for Philander to make the ODI squad. Based on his economy rate at test level, he should be close to a ODI callup. I also hope Johan Botha gets some quality batting time, he is underrated in this department.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Sri lanka, will strike back in the onday series.... thy have the strength... all they need is trust there abilities and forget the past.... u can do it sri lanka....ALL THE BEST....

  • POSTED BY royalg on | January 10, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    S.A. should not pick 2 spinners, tat wud help sri lanka more. they shud stick to there strenght which is pace and better to hav tsotosbe nd morkel, luking at S.A. its a pwerful unit havin albie at 7 and botha 8

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    What? Two new balls in SA fast tracks wouldn't matter........another hint of wisdom from ma' man Dilshan!!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    This might be like harping on the same string, but why is the world's best fielder, arguably the Johnty Rhodes of this generation, being wasted behind the stumps? SA is allready in experimentation, so why not experiment with the keeper's position as well?

  • POSTED BY Major_Hammad on | January 10, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    Best of Luck to AB Devilliers for Capitancy Debut and superb batting performances. Hope AB Devillers will be one of best captain of history.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    Imran Tahir should be in final XI. He has played exceptional last world cup.