Sri Lanka are gearing up to host South Africa in a white-ball series ahead of the high-voltage T20 World Cup 2021. The tour comprises three ODIs and as many T20Is, starting from Thursday (September). With this series being the last assignment of both teams ahead of the global event, they must view this great as a preparation opportunity. Hence, both sides would be determined to identify their best XI.
It has to be noted that this series is a part of the ICC Cricket World Super League. This means both teams must leave no stone unturned to emerge victoriously. Considering the on-paper strength of both teams, the Proteas side seems to have an upper hand. However, the home advantage is with Sri Lanka. Also, the Lankan Lions made Team India work hard in their last assignment. Hence, some exciting contests can be witnessed in the upcoming series.
Meanwhile, let’s look at five players to watch out for the SL vs SA ODI series:
The wicketkeeper-batsman has a point to prove in the upcoming series as he makes a comeback in the national team. Perera missed the India series due to a shoulder sprain and it would be interesting to see how he performs against the Proteas side. Notably, the southpaw was named Sri Lanka’s captain earlier but he couldn’t do well in that role. Nevertheless, he is a proven star of this format and will hold the key for the home team.
With Quinton de Kock not taking part in this series, Janneman Malan will shoulder the responsibility of scoring runs at the top. Having played just seven ODIs, the young opener is still new in the international arena. However, he has already played some brilliant knocks. Malan even has two ODI centuries in his kitty.
Arguably the most important player in the Sri Lanka squad, Wanindu Hasaranga would be raring to shine against South Africa. Despite Sri Lanka not doing well in recent times, Hasaranga has delivered regularly. The leg-spinner can take wickets in the middle overs alongside keeping the scoring rate down. Not to forget, he can also contribute with his batting blitzes.
One of the finest fast bowlers going around, Kagiso Rabada will possess a major threat to Sri Lanka’s batting line-up. The right-arm pacer can set the speed gun on fire and his ability to swing the ball makes him even more lethal. Nailing yorkers and bouncers isn’t beyond his reach either. Hence, the home team must be aware of this speed merchant.
Dhananjaya De Silva
Another Sri Lankan player who can make a significant mark in this series is Dhananjaya De Silva. The all-rounder has been a vital cog of the national team for a while and his record is impressive as well. While the right-handed batter can score handy runs in the middle overs, his more than handy off-spins make him an even greater asset.