After leveling the series with a brilliant win in the second ODI at the Kingsmead in Durban, hosts South Africa will aim to take the lead when they take on Pakistan in the third game of the five-match ODI series on Friday at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Head to Head Overall: Both teams have featured in 74 completed One Day International's against each other, with the Proteas leading the victory sheet at 48-26.
Head to Head in South Africa: Till date, the Proteas have hosted Pakistan in 30 completed ODI's and have won 19 of those. While at the Supersport Park, the scoreline is slightly edging towards the hosts at 3-2.
Previous Clash at SuperSport Park: In their most recent head to head back in November 2013, after being asked to bat first, the Pakistani batters flattened against the threatening Proteas attack and were eventually bundled out for 179, which was easily overhauled by the hosts inside 39 overs with four wickets spare.
The South Africans would have been relieved after an early hiccup in the series opener and have also made few tactical changes in their squad. The likes of Duanne Olivier, Heinrich Klaasen and Dane Paterson make way for Dale Steyn, Quinton de Kock and Beuran Hendricks.
The return of de Kock in the mix will certainly be a great relief for the hosts. The wicket-keeper batsman will open the batting in the third ODI. Rassie van der Dussen seems to be in good touch and will be hoping to continue from where he left off in the second ODI. Hashim Amla, who was their key performer in first ODI, failed to get going at Durban and he will be eager to rectify that at Centurion.
It was a perfect day for Andile Pehlukwayo, who impressed with both bat and ball at Durban. The all-rounder snared four wickets in 9.4 overs to rattle the Pakistani middle-order and he will be backed by the management to continue his good run in next fixture.
While Kagiso Rabada and Tabraiz Shamsi also came to the fore by picking up two and three wickets respectively, the return of Steyn will also make things tough for the opponents.
Expected Playing XI
Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis (c), David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir
At Durban, Pakistan faced the tough reality of bouncy South African pitches and seemed helpless against the short ball. But they will take some confidence from their win in the opening fixture and will eye a comeback at Centurion.
The failure of their top order gutted the visitor's momentum and they were unable to cover up the gap created by those early jolts. This is evident by the fact that the only batsman to cross the fifty-run mark was bowler Hasan Ali. He shared a 90-run stand with skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (41) to save them from embarrassment. The skipper will need the top order batsmen to fire in the next game and make a platform for others to follow.
Shaheen Shah Afridi was the pick of the lot with three wickets while Shadab Khan also snared two scalps. The onus will once again be on these two to rattle the South African lineup. Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf are other two bowlers who can get key scalps.
Expected Playing XI
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk) (c), Hussain Talat, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi