South Africa vs Pakistan, 2nd ODI : Preview and Predicted Playing XI
After a below-par show in the test series, Pakistan have managed to keep their unbeaten record at Port Elizabeth intact. Now on Tuesday, January 22, they will be eyeing to get the momentum going into the second ODI against South Africa at the Kingsmead, Durban.
In the One Day International matches played at the Kingsmead, the scoreline favours the visiting side, 4-2, and in their previous clash at Durban, back in March of 2013 ,after opting to bat first, the Proteas managed to put 234/9 on the board and were overhauled by the Pakistani batters with eight balls to spare.
The men from Pakistan will be pleased after their performance in the opening encounter and their confidence will get a further boost due to their impressive record against the Proteas at the Kingsmead.
Having said that, one may know that they have beaten the hosts on two occasions there, and this certainly gives them the edge ahead of the clash.
The Pakistani top order looked solid in the opening fixture with all of them coming out with decent knocks.
Imam-ul-Haq led the pack with an impressive 86 while Mohammad Hafeez was the pick of the middle order with his unbeaten 71 from just 63 balls.
These two will once again be the major threats in the line-up while Babar Azam has been in decent form since the beginning of this tour, and having missed out on a fifty last time, he will be eager to go past that mark this time.
Meanwhile, Fakhar Zaman and Shoaib Malik failed to convert their starts in the first game and we may see them coming out with a big one this time.
Despite a good showing with the bat, they will be slightly concerned with their bowling effort as they managed to pick just two wickets in fifty overs.
All bowlers except Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan failed to make an impact on the Proteas batters throughout the innings, with Faheem Ashraf being the most expensive with figures of 0 for 64 in his quota of ten overs.
The management will be expecting a much better performance from them in the next fixture, else it will make things easier for the hosts.
Expected Playing XI
Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & W), Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf/Hussain Talat, Hasan Ali, Shan Masood, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.
The South African side witnessed a self-made disaster in the opening ODI and will aim to avoid those unnecessary mistakes in the second fixture. They will be eager to make a comeback and level the honours in the second clash.
The Proteas were criticized for their batting performance in the first ODI as they failed to post a big total despite having wickets in hand and their opener and key performer of this tour, Hashim Amla, faced harsh criticism from fans for the slowness of his innings.
The batsman went on to score an unbeaten 108 runs from 120 balls and completed his 27th ODI century in the process. But one may look into the fact that his strike rate remained around 90 throughout the innings, which can't be considered bad in ODIs, and we might see him answer his critics in the second ODI.
Rassie van der Dussen also played his part with a decent knock of 93 from 101 balls and he will be expected to repeat it in the second fixture. Reeza Hendricks was the victim of a slow knock, with a strike rate of 67.16 and he will be expected to do better in the next game.
Meanwhile, skipper Faf du Plessis and Heinrich Klaasen are other players in the middle order who can stabilize the innings in case of early jolts.
Imran Tahir was the pick of the bowlers with economical figures of 1/44 and he will be expected to make it tough for Pakistan in the next ODI as well.
Except him, Andile Phehlukwayo and Reeza Hendricks also picked up a wicket each and the skipper will need them to extend that count in the next game.
Dwaine Pretorius failed to pick up any wickets but impressed with his variations. Meanwhile, Duanne Olivier picked up two wickets for the hosts but went for 73 runs in his 10 overs. So, he will be eager to rectify that in the next outing.
Expected Playing XI
Faf du Plessis (C), David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen (W), Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier, Imran Tahir, Hashim Amla, Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen.