Returning Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez key in opposition to resurgent South Africa

Returning Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez key against resurgent South Africa

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After South Africa’s domination of the Check sequence, a change to the white ball ought to carry these two groups nearer. The pitches will probably be flatter, the bouncers fewer, and a house aspect preoccupied with discovering the combos they are going to use on the World Cup is unlikely to have issues all their means.

That is to not say that Pakistan didn’t have their moments in the course of the Exams, and there have been occasions when the guests bossed classes or passages of play. Such sparks weren’t sufficient to swing complete Check matches, however related performances, in a format through which Pakistan are in all probability a bit of extra snug at present, might be sufficient to upset the hosts.

Whereas Pakistan are banking on the return of a few very skilled previous heads in Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez (in addition to the added efficiency of gamers similar to Fakhar Zaman on this format), South Africa have gone within the different route, together with the uncapped pair of Rassie van der Dussen and Duanne Olivier of their squad. Hafeez’s reduction on the absence of the title ‘Dale Steyn’ within the squad for the primary two ODIs could also be tempered considerably by a look at Olivier’s stats in the course of the Exams, however South Africa’s present predilection for tinkering might additionally expose them.

Pakistan and South Africa have traded blows of their final two one-day sequence on these shores, with South Africa successful Three-2 in 2012-13 and Pakistan triumphing 2-1 the next season. Certainly, Pakistan sealed that final sequence with a one-run win in Port Elizabeth, although Hafeez is the one member of the present squad to have performed a component in that victory.

Pakistan have been maybe missing in self perception throughout their Asia Cup marketing campaign, and sharing the spoils with New Zealand might have supplied little succour. After the battering they obtained within the Exams, a bit of little bit of perception of their white-ball abilities might go a great distance. Confidence will not be an issue for South Africa after they confirmed that they may beat Australia in Australia late final yr even with a few of their massive names lacking, and the hosts begin as clear favourites.

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Type information

South AfricaWLWWW (accomplished matches, most up-to-date first)

Pakistan WLLLW

Within the highlight

Rassie van der Dussen was the main run-scorer on the Mzansi Tremendous League with 469 runs at a strike-rate of 138.75, and after virtually a full yr of plying his commerce largely as a T20 cricketer, he now has the chance to make a well-timed entrance into the Proteas one-day aspect forward of the World Cup. St George’s Park is a floor that already holds particular reminiscences for van der Dussen: it was right here that he made his T20 debut for North West again in 2013.

ALSO READ: All-format specialist van der Dussen ready for the step up

The final man standing from the 1990s, Shoaib Malik is expertise personified. Fourteen of his 274 ODIs have been performed in South Africa, and he has a wonderful file with the bat right here, averaging 48.88 with a century and a fifty to his title. Pakistan will look to Malik for the middle-order ballast that was missing from their efforts within the Check sequence.

Workforce information

South Africa coach Ottis Gibson reckons that one among van der Dussen’s strengths is that he can slot into nearly any place within the high six, and there’s more likely to be an experimental look to the hosts’ taking part in XI, making a beginning line-up onerous to foretell. South Africa have two wristspinners of their squad, in Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi, although circumstances will in all probability dictate that they solely play one.

South Africa: 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Aiden Markram, Three Rassie van der Dussen, four Faf du Plessis (capt), 5 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 6 David Miller, 7 Dwaine Pretorius, eight Andile Phehlukwayo, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Duanne Olivier, 11 Imran Tahir

Shan Masood’s type within the Check sequence means he might be in line for an ODI debut, though that might complicate issues for Pakistan on the high of the order. The guests needs to be buoyed by the expertise within the middle-order engine room, whereas the bowling assault’s key ingredient is selection.

Pakistan: 1 Shan Masood, 2 Fakhar Zaman, Three Babar Azam, four Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfraz Ahmed (capt, wk), 7 Shadab Khan, eight Imad Wasim, 9 Faheem Ashraf, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Shaheen Shah Afridi

ALSO READ: Steyn, de Kock rested for ODIs against Pakistan

Pitch and circumstances

The St George’s Park strip has a repute for being form to batsmen, and the outfield for being fast, so there needs to be runs available. That being mentioned, there have been events the place this observe has performed a bit of slower and decrease than a stroke-maker would love, and spin could be a issue on the back-end of a match. There might be a bit of rain round within the morning earlier than the sport, however the afternoon needs to be largely sunny and the night delicate.

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan have by no means misplaced in opposition to South Africa at St George’s Park, winning two of the three ODIs at this floor, with one recreation rained off.

  • Pakistan maintain the file for the very best complete scored at this floor: their 335 for 6 again in 2002.

  • David Miller normally finds circumstances at St. George’s Park to his liking. He averages 113.50 from 4 innings at this floor, with a fifty and an unbeaten hundred to his title, and strikes at 94.97 right here.


“This area is without doubt one of the greatest within the nation. The outfield and the wicket at all times have a pleasant tempo to them. It’s a floor that has good reminiscences for me, I made my T20 debut right here just a few years in the past. I’m fairly excited.”
After his T20I debut in opposition to Zimbabwe final yr, Rassie van der Dussen ought to make his ODI debut in opposition to Pakistan