Sri Lanka and South Africa heading towards a showdown
Sri Lanka and South Africa have a few things to prove in their five one-day international (ODI) series starting on Saturday in Colombo.
The hosts are without their regular captain, Angelo Matthews, who was handed a two-match ban for his team’s slow over-rate in the tri-series that took place in West Indies. Dinesh Chandimal, 23, will become Sri Lanka’s youngest ODI captain and will lead his side in the first two matches against South Africa.
The tourists are also without injured player Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith and Dale Steyn prior to this series. Already doubtful for Satuday’s opener are fast bowler’s Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe who are suffering minor injuries.
Sri Lankan fast bowler, Nuwan Kulasekara has been ruled out for two-matches due to a finger injury, which was sustained in the tri-series. Suranga Lakmal comes in as Kulasekara’s replacement. Opening batsmen, Tillakaratne Dilshan is also doubtful for the first match, recovering from a calf muscle tear.
Middle-order batsman Jehan Mubarak, 32, has been recalled after four years, since his last ODI appearance against Pakistan in 2009. His inclusion to the international side is a positive turn-around for him this year. Mubarak was taken into custody by police and later released on bail in a fatal car accident, killing one person in Colombo in April.
This seriesis also the first tour of newly appointed South African head coach, Russell Domingo, who became the successor to former opening batsmen Gary Kirsten.
Both teams are under pressure, having failed to win in the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy in June. Sri Lanka on the other hand, reached the final of the recent tri-series. However, were defeated by one wicket against India.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Colin Ingram, Alviro Petersen, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Quinton de Kock, Farhaan Behardien, Robin Peterson, Ryan McLaren, Rory Kleinveldt, Aaron Phangiso, Chris Morris, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne Morkel.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jehan Mubarak, Angelo Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakma, Sachithra Senanayake, Shaminda Eranga, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga.