South Africa vs. Pakistan 2021
1st ODI – Fri, 2nd April
New South African Team:
After a thumping stint of cricket earlier in the year, South gets back at playing white-ball cricket yet again. Hosts South Africa are exploring to re-establish their team, with the likes of Imran Tahir and Faf du Plessis withdrawing from international cricket.
Under the captaincy of Temba Bavuma, the Proteas will be eyeing to seal their power and declare their records at the cost of Pakistan. With a strong bowling lineup compromising Tabraiz Shamsi and Kagiso Rabada, South Africa will fancy their odds of a win in the game and the series as well.
Possible playing XI: Quinton de Kock (WK), Janneman Malan, Kyle Verrynne/David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Rassie van der Dussen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabriaz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma (C), Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi.
For Pakistan, their players are entering this series following the PSL, though a disrupted one. However, Pakistan also has a team that radiates class.
Captained by Babar Azam, the tourists will be looking to set the best as far as their overseas record is concerned. Their bowling lineup mainly seems strong, with Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali set to play. And Batting roster preceded by Babar, the kingpin of Pakistan.
Possible playing XI: Imam ul Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (C), Asif Ali/Danish Aziz, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf.
The venue, Pitch Report, and Toss Prediction:
The first ODI between Pakistan and South Africa will take place at SuperSport Park in Centurion on 2nd April Friday.
A good batting track expects the two teams in Centurion, with the bowlers likely to get some help off the pitch. While the speedsters should get the ball to move and swing around early on, the batters should relish the conditions once they get in their groove. The spin bowlers will come into play in the mid-overs, although there isn’t much spin on the deal. Both sides will look to bat first upon winning the toss, with 265-275 being a good target at the venue.
Owing to the home conditions, South Africa begin this series as the favourites with the odds of 1.57. Pakistan, on the contrary, is at the odds of 2.40. This gulf seems inclined, but the conditions are more prejudiced.
Pakistan’s strength with the bowl and their chasing power could see the gulf reducing if they bat second. However, both sides look evenly matched on paper, but home conditions will perfectly play into South Africa’s aid. But Pakistan has a flair for tossing the script when no one anticipates them to do so. Either way, we should be in for an exciting match of cricket to revive what guarantees to be an engaging series between Pakistan and South Africa.