After a historic victory in the ODIs over hosts, South Africa, Pakistan has a new mission as they eye their fourth consecutive series victory over the Proteas. Meanwhile, Temba Bavuma was supposed to lead his team for the first time in the shortest format against Pakistan. But as fate has it, he will have to wait for it a little longer as he is ruled out due to a hamstring injury and will be out watching his side take on the visitors on television.
Bavuma, however, is not the only player to miss the series, and while he would still be able to keep track, the IPL contingent of South Africa – who left the series in the middle to attend the franchise duties to leave Shahid Afridi bemused – will perhaps not be able to connect at all.
Pakistan had never defeated South Africa in a T20I series. That changed a little earlier this year when they invited them home and blanked the Tests series 2-0 before clinching the T20Is 2-1. After managing a similar scoreline in the recent ODIs, Pakistan has secured victories over them in each format once in the last 4 months. And a watered-down South Africa will be up to evade another loss in circumstances and fate eerily similar to the last time they met. So of course, there is a sense of déjà vu for Heinrich Klassen as he preps up to wear the captain’s hat again, having donned it for the first time against the same side in February.
Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, Kagiso Rabada, and Lungi Ngidi were all missing that time as they returned home hoping to play Tests against Australia, only to be left stranded after Australia pulled out at the last moment due to a sudden shot in COVID cases in South Africa. An upsurge much worse in India recently notwithstanding, no less than five of their mainstays – de Kock, Rabada, Nortje, Miller, and Ngidi – will be missing this time. And perhaps, van der Dussen too, who is yet to regain fitness.
Pakistan is alien to the IPL, which leaves them with no fuss to handle. On the South African shores, they have victories over Scotland, Sri Lanka, Australia, Bangladesh, and New Zealand during the 2007 T20I World Cup. They won the 2-match series 1-0 in 2013 and drew a series of the same length in the same year with Mohammad Hafeez leading. So what Pakistan is not alien to is winning in South Africa.
Proteas edged past them 2-1 in 2019, albeit with two close victories – 6 and 7 runs at Cape Town and Johannesburg, respectively – before Pakistan won Centurion by 27 runs. But ever since that series, South Africa has won merely 6 out of their 18 T20Is at home
Pitch and conditions
Wanderers is renowned for its lethal pace and bounce. Though that was on offer to an extent during the second ODI, the track had plenty in it for the batsmen as South Africa notched up 341/6 before restricting Pakistan only 17 runs short. In T20Is, the average score at the venue has been 174 with an even 14-14 record for chasing and defending.
Playing Combination for SA vs PAK
South Africa will have changes aplenty with the IPL contingent gone. Aiden Markram has been slotted in after Reeza Hendricks has opted out due to personal reasons, whereas Dwaine Pretorious’ injury has ruled him out too. It remains to be seen if Dussen, who missed the last ODI to a muscle tear, regains fitness. With Bavuma missing, Klassen is set to lead.
Predicted XI: Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Wihan Lubbe/Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen (C), Kyle Verrynne (WK), Andile Phehlukwayo, George Linde, Migael Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Beuran Hendricks, Lutho Sipamla
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan will be at the top. Rizwan had an off ODI series but he was in a purple patch last time these two sides met in the T20Is (197 runs at 98.50). Mohammad Hafeez is returning to the team; and after a decent outing in the last ODI, Usman Qadir should pick himself. Haris Rauf ended up as the leading wicket-taker in the ODI series, and he will be with Afridi and Hasan Ali for the pace duties.
Predicted XI: Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir, Shaheen Shah Afridi
SA vs PAK Head to Head
Played – 17 | Pakistan – 9 | South Africa – 8
SA vs PAK Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 6:00 pM (IST)
TV – SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 2 HD
Live Streaming– SONY LIV
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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