After getting thrashed 3-0 in the three-match Test series, Sri Lanka fought back well against a second-string South African side in the three-match T20I series. The visitors finally got something to smile about as they defeated the home side 2-1 to win their first T20I series since winning the World T20 in 2014.
With five ODIs to be played between the two sides, starting on Saturday at Port Elizabeth, both South Africa and Sri Lanka will be looking to finish the long series on a high and make the best use of the 50-over matches as preparation for the upcoming Champions Trophy. Angelo Mathews’ injury during the second T20I is a massive blow for the visitors as the Sri Lankan captain has bailed his team out on a regular basis during the course of the tour.
The T20I series gave rise to many stars, some of who earned up calls to the 50-over side. The return of Proteas’ ODI captain, AB de Villiers is a huge boost for the home side after the talented batsman was out for more around 6 months.
We take a look at five players you need to have in your Oye Captain fantasy teams for the five-match ODI series:
#5 Lakshan Sandakan (Sri Lanka) – 8
Although Lakshan Sandakan has played only one ODI so far, he has been quite impressive in the other formats he has featured in with batsmen finding it difficult to read him. It is no coincidence that Sri Lanka won both the T20Is in which the 25-year-old featured. On his T20I debut, during the second T20I at the Wanderers, he picked up 4 wickets, giving away only 23 runs.
At a price of just 8, Sandakan is really a must-have player in your fantasy side as he will get you wickets as well as at a very economical rate. In both theT20Is he played, he picked up 5 wickets at an economy rate of just 5.75 and racked up 145 fantasy points in the process.
#4 Lungi Ngidi (South Africa) – 8.5
One of the finds of the T20I series between South Africa and Sri Lanka has been 20-year-old fast bowler, Lungisani Ngidi. With a similar action to Kagiso Rabada, the Durban-born bowler caused havoc during the first two T20Is by picking up six wickets at an economy rate of 5.16. This earned him a call-up to the ODI side.
It might be early days for this youngster, but he is not short of confidence as he looks like he could develop into a proven wicket-taker for the Proteas. Costing only 8.5, Ngidi could be another bargain buy for fantasy team owners as the fast bowler has already earned 147 points.
#3 Niroshan Dickwella (Sri Lanka) – 8
Niroshan Dickwella has been one of the promising young stars for a Sri Lankan side who have been in a transitional phase for a long time now. Now, however, it seems that the 23-year-old is finally realising his potential and playing to that level as he was named as the man-of-the-match for the final T20I as well as the man-of-the-series for the T20I series.
Dickwella put in a top-notch performance with the bat by scoring 133 runs in the 3 T20Is at an average of 44.33 and at an impressive strike rate of 156.47. His ODI record is not that bad either as he averages just under 37 in the 6 matches he has played so far. He will be expected to carry on his impressive form from the 20-over format to the 50-over format.
Costing just 8, Dickwella is very light on the wallet of the owners and gives excellent returns. He has earned 247 points from the 3 T20Is he played.
#2 Quinton de Kock (South Africa) – 9.5
Quinton de Kock is one of the few batsmen in the world who have been consistent across all formats of the game. Having been rested for T20I series after impressing in the three Test matches, de Kock will be ready to fire on all cylinders as he returns for the 50-over format. In three Tests, he scored 270 at an average of 54, which is quite impressive considering he batted at Nos. 7 and 8 for the Proteas.
Another reason you should have him on your side is because of his ODI record at home which has some staggering numbers. In 22 home ODIs, de Kock has scored 1212 runs at an average of 57.71 and striking at 104.39 with 6 hundred and 2 fifties to his name. At 9.5, de Kock might be a bit pricey, but you can be guaranteed with runs from his bat as well as dismissals behind the stumps.
#1 AB de Villiers (South Africa) – 10
This great man needs no introduction. AB de Villiers is one of the most complete cricketers in the world right now. It had been nearly six months since the Proteas’ ODI captain last played before he featured in the final T20I against Sri Lanka, where he was the top scorer for his side with a vital knock of 63 off 44 balls.
In Oye Captain, he is the joint-highest costliest player at 10. The 32-year-old, however, will definitely be one of the top performers as he will be looking to prove to everyone that being away has not affected his game at all. He is a livewire on the field, and can get you points through catches and run-outs too.
His average of 51.82 in 86 home ODIs is nothing short of phenomenal and de Villiers will be looking to use this series as the perfect preparation for the 2017 Champions Trophy.