A.B. de Villiers takes on a new challenge when he captains South Africa in the first One-Day International against Sri Lanka at Boland Park on Wednesday.

de Villiers was appointed captain of South Africa's ODI and Twenty20 teams when Gary Kirsten was named coach last June, but a hand injury kept him out of the matches against Australia.

Hashim Amla took over as captain in a drawn Twenty20 series and a one-day series which Australia won 2-1.

It will be a tough baptism for de Villiers, one of South Africa's key batsmen, because he has also been selected to keep wickets.

Sri Lanka, coming off a 2-1 Test series defeat, will seek to recapture the form that took it to the World Cup final last year.

Its squad includes fast bowler Lasith Malinga, one of the most effective bowlers in limited-over cricket, who is no longer available for Tests.

The first four matches are being played at some of South Africa's lesser venues before the fifth and final game is staged at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

The conditions could encourage Sri Lanka to field unorthodox spin bowler Ajantha Mendis, who did not feature in the Test series, alongside left-armer Rangana Herath, who was one of his side's best bowlers in the Tests.

Only six of the South Africans played in the Test series.

Amla is expected to open with Test skipper Graeme Smith, who relinquished the one-day captaincy after the World Cup.

In contrast, the Sri Lankan squad includes 10 players who appeared in the Test series.

With Malinga and Mendis likely to strengthen the team for one-day purposes, the tourists could provide stern opposition for a South African team under new leadership.

The squads:

South Africa: A.B. de Villiers (capt./wk), Hashim Amla (vice-capt.), Johan Botha, J.P. Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt.), Angelo Mathews (vice-capt.), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Dilhara Fernando, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Kosala Kulasekara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Upul Tharanga and Lahiru Thirimanne.

Fixtures: Jan. 11: Paarl; Jan. 14: East London; Jan. 17: Bloemfontein; Jan. 20: Kimberley; Jan. 22: Johannesburg.

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