The hosts South Africa and the visitors Pakistan will face each other once again in the third or last game of the three-match ODI series at SuperSport Park (Centurion) this Wednesday (7th April).
Currently, this ODI series is standing in 1-1 position with one match to go, which is also part of the 2020-23 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League. While Pakistan won the last-ball thriller by three wickets in the first ODI, the second ODI was also a really entertaining and close game where South Africa ultimately secured a 17-run win.
The hosts South Africa will start the series-decider without their crucial five players like Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi have been released from the squad due to their IPL commitment. As all these players are very crucial and most of them are in very good forms, their absence can massively hurt the Proteas team.
Captain Temba Bavuma, in-form Rassie van der Dussen will now have to take more responsibility on their shoulders as Quinton de Kock, who scored 80 runs in the last ODI, and David Miller, who scored half-centuries in both the first two matches of this series, will miss the series decider. Janneman Malan is most likely to open with Aiden Markram in the third game.
But the South African team will face a bigger hit on their bowling side as the in-form pacer Anrich Nortje will miss along with dependable Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi. It will be interesting how the hosts sort out their pace-bowling line-up for the third ODI.
Temba Bavuma (C), Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts, Rassie van der Dussen, Junior Dala, Lutho Sipamla, Wiaan Mulder, Sisanda Magala, Kyle Verreynne, Daryn Dupavillon, Lizaad Williams.
After the last-ball victory in the series opener, Fakhar Zaman’s incredible one-man show just magically put the visitors close to the victory in the second game but the Pakistan opener didn’t get enough minimum support from the other batsmen which ultimately resulted in a close-defeat for them.
Though Shadab Khan has been ruled out from this remaining complete Africa tour due to suffering a left toe injury in the last ODI, the visitors Pakistan still have a great chance to win this ODI series as the hosts will miss some of their very crucial players in this ODI.
There is no doubt that everyone will put a keen eye on the opener Fakhar Zaman, who scored 193 runs in the last game and created the record of highest individual score in the second innings of an ODI history. Also, his opening partner Imam-ul-Haq, captain Babar Azam and in-form wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan need to play important roles in the batting line-up. Pakistan middle-order batsmen are hugely struggling which is not a good sign for the visitors.
Meanwhile, the bowlers also need to be consistent as most of them haven’t maintained discipline in this series, especially in the death overs.
Babar Azam (C), Abdullah Shafique, Danish Aziz, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Asif Ali (as a replacement of Saud Shakeel), Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usman Qadir
Though both the ODIs of this series were really close games, the visitors Pakistan have a better chance to win this ODI series due to the absence of some crucial South African players.
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