All-time African ODI XI
Jacques Kallis remains one of only two cricketers (the other being Sanath Jayasuriya) to score more than 10,000 runs and pick up over 250 wickets in ODI history. Technically flawless against both pace and spin, the right-hander was the bulwark of South Africa's batting lineup for most of his fabled career. Occupying the vital number three position, he can hold one end on challenging pitches and lay the foundation for the flamboyant stroke-makers below him.
Perhaps AB de Villiers' dynamism and dazzling array of shots have taken him closer than any batsman when it comes to matching the aura of the peerless Sir Viv Richards. Apart from de Villiers, no other cricketer has averaged above 50 and scored at a strike-rate of more than 100 simultaneously from a sizeable number of ODIs.
The key to his success stems from a well-balanced stance upon which he can unfurl different types of shots to manipulate various field placements.
Faf du Plessis has been drafted into this star-studded outfit for two reasons. First among those is the ability to re-position his game to meet the demands of distinct situations. While he can manoeuvre the field with his silken timing in the middle-overs, the 33-year old also has the wherewithal to take the attack to the opposition during the latter stages of the innings. When his astute leadership is added to the equation, the Pretoria-born cricketer becomes an asset to any team. His shrewd man-management quality could come in handy while captaining such a heterogeneous side.
Middle-order: Jacques Kallis (South Africa), AB de Villiers (South Africa) and Faf du Plessis (captain) (South Africa)