Farhaan Behardien will replace the injured David Miller in the third ODI against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers on Saturday.
Behardien captained the T20 squad in their 2-1 series defeat against Sri Lanka, and after Miller’s amazing knock of 117 not out in the second ODI on Wednesday, Behardien will have big shoes to fill. He has scored 958 runs in 51 ODIs and scored six half-centuries at an average of 30.58, compared to Miller’s 2 143 (four tons and six half-centuries) in 89 matches at an average of 38.96.
Despite Miller’s superior record, De Villiers showed confidence in the 33-year-old’s selection and believes that he fits the bill.
‘He’s the perfect replacement for Miller,’ said De Villiers.
‘He has proved that he has an all-round game. He’s one of those guys who can come through for you when the chips are down.’
The Proteas skipper has fond memories of the pink ODI, where he smashed the record for the fastest fifty and hundred in the second ODI against West Indies at the Wanderers in January 2015. He hit 50 off 16 balls and 100 off 31 balls, ending his innings on 149 off 44 balls. He is aware of the crowds that pink day games bring in, and De Villiers claims to draw inspiration from the hype.
‘I do enjoy big crowds and big moments, the hype and noise,’ he said. ‘But it comes down to form, I was in good form in all pink day games.’
De Villiers gave Imran Tahir the highest praise. The spinner has been in incredible form lately and has taken five wickets in two matches this year and is currently third on the ICC ODI bowler rankings.
‘Imran Tahir is probably the best bowler in the world at the moment, the way he’s bowling. He’s an absolute joy to captain.’
The Proteas will look to go up 3-0 with a win over Sri Lanka on Saturday and with that clinch a series victory. This will give them a boost over the team they will face in their first ICC Champions Trophy clash in June.