After sealing their maiden Test triumph in South Africa, the Asian Islanders will look to continue the ascendency in the One Day format, when they visit the Wanderers in Johannesburg, for the first ODI on Sunday, March 3.
Head to Head Overall Stats: The Islanders have faced the Proteas in a 70 completed ODI fixtures. The Africans lead the clash line with 38 wins, while the Lankans have clinched the honours on 31 occasions, with one fixture ending in a tie.
Head to Head in South Africa: In the 28 One Day International fixtures played in the African shores, the hosts overshadow the visitors by securing the honours on 20 occasions, and have won their last five head to head games on the trot.
Sri Lankan Perspective
Sri Lanka were absolutely flawless in the longest format and will begin this series high on confidence. Though they have not been in a good run in the fifty over format and have won just one of their last ten fixtures, which means one may witness few new names in the playing XI.
Kusal Perera's astonishing performance led Islanders to victory in the test series, while debutant Oshada Fernando was the second highest run scorer of the series with 131 runs, and the skipper will need these two to replicate their good show in the ODIs. Meanwhile, They will also bank on their openers Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga to lay down a strong opening stand and set a platform for the others to follow.
Skipper Lasith Malinga is set to lead the attack in the ODIs, the bowler already made his presence felt during the practice game by picking a five-wicket haul and the team will mostly depend on him to take wickets. While Vishwa Fernando, who ended test series as the highest wicket taker with 12 wickets is like to get a straight nod for the ODIs and he is likely to rattle the African top order.
Expected Playing XI
Lasith Malinga (C), Lakshan Sandaka, Vishva Fernando, Upul Tharanga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Thisara Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka and Dushmantha Chameera.
South African Perspective
The Proteas boasts a strong ODI record against the visitors and are coming off back to back series wins over Australia (2-1) and Pakistan (3-2).
South Africa have rested Hashim Amla for upcoming ODIs and in his absence the batting duties will mostly depend on David Miller, skipper Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock. The trio is considered as a backbone of their batting lineup and can make the opponents wandering for the opportunities if not dismissed early. While Rassie van der Dussen has certainly raised his bar after his impressive T20 outings and is coming off an unbeaten 50 in his earlier ODI against Pakistan and he will be key in the middle in case South Africa loose early wickets.
The Proteas have named a full strength bowling unit for the upcoming fixtures. The likes of Dale Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir make them a team to reckon with, and these five will make the opponents pay for each run.
Expected Playing XI
Faf du Plessis (C), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks.