Keshav Maharaj won the toss. (Supplied/CSA)
The Proteas gained a potentially important foothold in their quest to keep the ODI series against Sri Lanka alive by winning the toss and deciding to bat first in the 2nd ODI on Saturday.
Torrential overnight rain and another shower in the morning at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo means that the match has been reduced to 47 overs per side and, given the threat of more bad weather, getting runs on the board might not be a bad thing.
LIVE | Proteas win toss, bat first to keep ODI series against Sri Lanka alive
Reeza Hendricks replaces regular skipper Temba Bavuma in the top order after the diminutive stroke-maker’s tour was ended by a fractured thumb in the first match, where South Africa fell 14-runs short on Thursday.
Spinner Keshav Maharaj takes over the captaincy and forms part of an eye-catching selection strategy to pick no less than three front-line, left-arm spinners, Tabraiz Shamsi and George Linde joining him in the XV.
Aiden Markram, who made a sumptuous 96 in the opening match, could also provide competent off-spin.
To compensate for a lack of specialist seamers, the Proteas also included batting all-rounder Wiaan Mulder to support Kagiso Rabada and Andile Phehlukwayo.
The Sri Lankans, unsurprisingly, have named an unchanged XI.
Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Wiaan Mulder, Heinrich Klaasen, Andile Phehlukwayo, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj (captain), Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi
Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (captain), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananjaya, Praveen Jayawickrama.