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|Faf du Plessis||8||8||2||0||100.00|
|Rassie van der Dussen||80||123||9||0||65.04|
It was always expected that the South Africa vs Pakistan ODI series would be a lot closer than the test matches. After all, even the South African captain had conceded his side was behind Pakistan when it comes to the 50 over format. That may have been some mind games, to be honest, but Pakistan proved those words to be prophetic.
The visitors chased down a bigger total than they ever had before this against South Africa in South Africa and laid down the marker. A win in this second match would put South Africa in a must-win position for the next three ODI’s and that is something that the home team would want to avoid for sure.
An overly conservative South African effort proved to be their undoing in the first ODI and this is why we are sure we will see a more aggressive team in this match. Will Pakistan be up to the challenge once again?
Hashim Amla scored his 27th century in ODI’s but it was one of the strongest efforts we have seen in a long time. Amla stayed in third gear for the entirety of his inning and ended up with 108 runs in 120 deliveries.
That is not acceptable by today’s standards and was one of the major reasons why South Africa could only get 266 even after losing just two wickets. Reeza Hendricks was also pretty slow scoring 45 off 67 deliveries.
Van der Dussen made his debut in style with 93 off 101 deliveries and was responsible for injecting some momentum into the inning. He smashed three sixes during his inning and narrowly missed out on a hundred on debut.
There were a couple of things that amazed us in this match. One was the non-selection of Aiden Markram in the playing eleven. How is it possible that a player of Markram’s talent, proven track record, and someone who was captain at the start of last year is no longer to find a place in the team? He also just had an excellent test series smashing Pakistan to every part of the ground.
Whether he plays in the side in place of Hendricks or an all-rounder down the order, Aiden Markram must find a place in the side and we think South Africa will correct that as the series goes on.
Also, Faf du Plessis has been in excellent form in the ODI’s especially while playing at number three. He keeps the scoreboard moving and is senior enough to tell Amla to get going as well. Surely du Plessis the answer to South Africa’s number three needs with the ICC World Cup 2019 approaching so that is where he should be batting.
The pitch in Port Elizabeth was conducive to spin and made it difficult to score, so this was perhaps why the South Africans were a touch conservative. Expect them to bounce back strongly and play with more intent.
An excellent bowling attack comprising players like Rabada, Olivier, Pretorius, Phehlukwayo, and Tahir were unable to exert pressure on Pakistan. That must have been disappointing and they need to come harder in the upcoming game.
The surface in Durban is going to be more lively so maybe that is something that should help get the best out of them as well. We are backing Rabada to be the highest wicket-taker in the upcoming match.
Hashim Amla, Reeza Hendricks, RVD Dussen, David Miller, Faf du Plessis, Heinrich Klaasen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Dane Paterson, Tabraiz Shamsi, Duanne Olivier.
Pakistan put in an excellent performance in the first match. They bowled with discipline and used their spinners to tie down the South Africans. It is something they are used to doing and the surface played into their hands perfectly.
The real big test for the side is going to come when they have to bat first or chase down a big target. We have seen on many occasions that Pakistan does not have the batting depth to be able to go aggressively at the opposition for a sustained period of time.
Fakhar Zaman is just too erratic and inconsistent to be a threat. His century in the ICC Champions Trophy is a fading memory and most of following exploits have come against Pakistan. Babar Azam is the best batsman in this ODI side by a mile. He, along with Shoaib Malik, are the players that will be responsible for getting most of the runs for Pakistan.
Imam ul Haq has had an excellent ODI career right now and has shown a very good technique as well. We would like to see him tested against the short ball a bit more and see if he can open up some new avenues of scoring. None the less, he seems like an excellent player to have at the top of the order.
It is not often that Mohammad Hafeez gets the credit for being a match winner for Pakistan but that is the absolute truth. His inning of 71 not out in the previous match was notable for the ease with which he scored his runs.
Hafeez has had problems with the moving ball in the past and some genuinely quick bowling but they were not factors in this last match. Once again, we think he could be found out in the upcoming series.
Sarfraz Ahmed and the three all-rounders certainly provide a lot of batting depth to the Pakistani batting, at least on paper. The quality is not something we are too sure about. Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, and Faheem Ashraf are all number 7 to 8 batsmen at best.
One of them may come off in a game but neither of them can be considered a batting all-rounder. Their bowling is certainly the stronger suit according to us.
Hasan Ali and Usman Shinwari are good attacking bowlers. They will look for wickets and can make inroads into the South African batting. Shadab Khan is the other bowler we would be wary of thanks to the control he has on his variations.
There is no doubt that Pakistan is a talented side but we think that a lot of things went their way in the first match which may not happen from here on in. The real test for Pakistan is still to come.
Imam-ul-Haq, F Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Hussain Talat, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi.
The side winning the toss is going to want to bat first
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The South Africa vs Pakistan second ODI is going to be played at Kingsmead, Durban. The conditions in Durban are usually excellent for batting while offering some pace and bounce to the bowlers as well. We think run scoring is going to be a lot easier and the South African bowlers will be able to extract some life from the surface as well.
South Africa was beaten 6-1 by India in South Africa not too long ago, primarily on the back of some quality spin options. Pakistan also seems to be trying to achieve the same thing and they have the options to test the South Africans. In this match, though, we don’t think the conditions are going to suit Pakistan in achieving that and the South Africans should be able to equalize the series.
Back South Africa to win.
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