1st ODI: Sri Lanka, South Africa get set to lock horns

Sri Lanka may have fought hard only to surrender against South Africa in the Test series. The two teams however, are more evenly matched in the 50-over format.

updated: January 11, 2012 16:46 IST
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Paarl: The Big Picture

Before the Test series, the gulf in quality between the two sides seemed unbridgeable, though Sri Lanka went on to pull off one of the upsets of the decade in Durban before surrendering the series. In the one-day format, the teams are more evenly matched, as the rankings show - South Africa are third with 116 points, while Sri Lanka are fourth with 112. Also Sri Lanka's attack gets the cutting edge it lacked in the Tests with the return of Lasith Malinga, among the most feared bowlers in the limited-overs game.

While the bowling line-up of both teams is likely to be radically different from the Cape Town Test, South Africa have the added change of having a new full-time one-day captain. Graeme Smith's long reign having coming to an end, it is AB de Villiers who now takes the helm - an extra responsibility for someone who played as a specialist batsman two years ago. Now he has the MS Dhoni-like role of being captain, key batsman and wicketkeeper.

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