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|Faf du Plessis||57||66||7||0||86.36|
|Rassie van der Dussen||2||4||0||0||50.00|
|Quinton de Kock||94||70||17||1||134.29|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||8.0||0||55||2||6.88|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||15||26||2||0||57.69|
South Africa bounced back after a poor test series as they completely outplayed the tourists in all departments of the game in the first ODI of the series. With the World Cup not too far, Sri Lanka would be desperate to get things back on track as quickly as possible. The second ODI of the series is set to be played at SuperSport Park, Centurion on 6th March where the Proteas will be looking to get a 2-0 lead in the series. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will look to get some momentum back and level the series 1-1.
Not often do we see teams making changes to a winning squad, but we are likely to see a couple of changes to the South African team which played in the first match with World Cup under a 100 days away.
First and foremost is we could see Dale Steyn return to the playing eleven and Kagiso Rabada being rested. Andile Phehlukwayo has been doing exceptionally in the ongoing momentum ODI cup and it is highly likely that he gets to play ahead of Dwaine Pretorius.
The batting lineup, however, is expected to stay the same. Faf du Plessis smashed a brilliant hundred to guide South Africa past Sri Lanka's total and once again a lot will depend on him, as far as Proteas' middle order is concerned.
All in all, the South African lineup looks solid with Faf du Plessis, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, and Quinton de Kock performing consistently. Also, despite a couple of expected changes to their bowling attack, they still look an exceptionally well-balanced side and it won't be easy to defeat them regardless of the conditions prevailing at the SuperSport Park.
Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Faf du Plessis, RVD Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, PWA Mulder, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.
While the teams usually stick to a winning combination when they are winning, we expect Sri Lanka to stick to the same playing eleven so as to give maximum chances to their best eleven before the marquee event beginning on 30th May.
In the first ODI, things could have been very different had their batsmen batted with a little more responsibility. Instead, the likes of Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Kusal Perera threw their wickets away after getting decent enough starts.
With not a big total on the board, their spinners struggled to tie down the likes of du Plessis and Quinton de Kock and we might see Isuru Udana coming in for Lakshan Sandakan. It was surprising to see Upul Tharanga coming out to open the innings in the first match considering the form he's been in. Avishka Fernando has done exceedingly well in the domestic matches of-late and he is likely to be tested before the marquee ICC tournament.
Overall, the Sri Lankans didn't really do too bad in the first match. They faltered at a few critical junctures of the game which was largely due to the lack of experience. With the likes of Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Thisara Perera, and Lasith Malinga, this Sri Lankan side is definitely stronger than it looks and should not be taken lightly.
Niroshan Dickwella, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis , Oshada Fernando, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Kasun Rajitha, MVT Fernando.
After a hard-fought ODI series, the first ODI happened to be a rather one-sided affair. Although South Africa looked flawless as a unit, Sri Lanka have a lot of areas to improve in. South Africa are expected to make a few changes and the change in their combination might well leave a bit off door open for the Islanders. Having said that, there was daylight of difference between the two sides and it appears to be the same on paper as well. With a strong team and momentum gained from the win in the inaugural ODI, the Proteas are firm favorites to come on top in the next fixture.
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