If you had watched the first ODI between Pakistan and South Africa, you would have surely understood why Babar Azam is rated so highly in cricketing circles. The right-handed batting sensation oozed class at Centurion and scored a classy 103 to power Pakistan to a three-wicket victory over South Africa in the first ODI. Azam was proficient on either side of the wicket and was proficient with his footwork as well. And, he dished out a master class with the willow that allowed his side to go past the finish line.
But then, the path to victory was not so smooth for Pakistan, and credit has to be given to the South African side as well, for the fighting spirit that they exhibited. The Temba Bavuma-led side clawed their way back into the match in the final stages of the Pakistan innings. Chasing 274, Pakistan was cruising at 186/1, and a victory for the Babar Azam-led side seemed a foregone conclusion. But then, the Proteas picked up 6 wickets in quick succession to create some tension in the Pakistani camp.
However, Pakistan held their nerve and scampered to victory off the last ball to draw first blood in the ODI series. The biggest positive to emerge for the South African side from the first ODI was the way Rassie Van Der Dussen applied himself in the middle. The Proteas were reeling at 55/4 at one stage, and it seemed as if they might not even cross the 200-run mark. But then, the right-hander scored a responsible 123* to steer his side to a competitive total of 273/6 on the board.
The one cause of concern for the hosts is the form of batsman Aiden Markram. The 26-year-old has been dismissed for a score of less than 20 in 4 out of his last 7 ODI innings. Markram would definitely need to step up with the willow for his side in the second rubber. Since this is just a three-match ODI series, a loss in the second game for the hosts would mean that they lose the series. On the other hand, the Pakistani side will be looking to seal the series when both sides lock horns in the second ODI at Johannesburg.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at the Wanderers in Johannesburg is one that will be tilted in favor of the batsmen. The boundaries will be on the shorter side, and the ‘margin for error’ for the bowlers will be minimal.
Playing Combinations for SA vs PAK
After the completion of just one match, the Proteas will not be looking to tinker too much with their side. Expect them to go in with the same playing XI for the second rubber as well.
Predicted Playing XI: Aiden Markram, Quinton De Kock (WK), Temba Bavuma (C), Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
After a victory over South Africa in the first ODI, it is highly unlikely that Pakistan will chop and change its side. Expect the visitors to go unchanged into the second ODI.
Predicted Playing XI: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf
South Africa vs Pakistan Head-to-Head
Played – 80 | South Africa – 50 | Pakistan – 29 | NR – 1
South Africa vs Pakistan Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 1:30 PM (IST)
TV – Star Sports Network
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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