South Africa vs Pakistan 2018-19, 3rd Test: Preview and predicted playing XI
After thrashing Pakistan by nine wickets in the second test at Cape Town. South Africa will now aim for a clean sweep, when they welcome the visitors for the third and final test at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg from Friday, January 11.
While Dean Elgar's men will look to add another clean sweep to their name, Pakistan will desperately want to escape some embarrassment by finishing the series off on a positive note.
The Proteas are on a roll at the moment and they seem to be enjoying their time against their hapless Asian counterparts.
They have been absolutely clinical in both the batting and bowling department in this series. After an impressive six-wicket win in the opening encounter, they made it better by securing a nine-wicket win in the second game and are expected to approach the final Test with the same enthusiasm.
Temba Bavuma and skipper Dean Elgar have been the rock for the Proteas' batting line-up in the series. Bavuma has scored the most runs for his side so far with 141 runs in two games. He has been supported well by Dean Elgar with 116 runs and one can expect another significant contribution from the duo.
In the absence of Faf du Plessis due to suspension for a slow-over rate in the second Test, Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, and Hashim Amla will have to rise up to the occasion and come out with essential contributions with the bat to help their team post a decent total on the board.
Duanne Olivier has been the most successful bowler in the series with 16 wickets and the right arm pacer is going to be the main threat in this bowling attack.
Apart from him, Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn have also done a fine job with the ball and have taken 12 and 10 wickets respectively. Once again the onus will be on them to make early inroads into the Asians' batting line-up.
Expected Playing XI
Dean Elgar (C), Hashim Amla, Theunis de Bruyn, Zubayr Hamza, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (W), Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier and Aiden Markram
The Pakistan team has tried everything they could, but nothing has worked for them. Now they seem to have run out of ideas to overcome this threatening South African lineup.
The visitors have failed to click as a unit and they have not been able to stretch the opponents in the series. They must find something to counter the hosts' game plan, else it will be another cakewalk for the home side.
Shan Masood has ignited a new hope in the Asian side by scoring an impressive 105 runs in the previous game, while Babar Azam with 151 runs in two games is their next best batsmen in the series so far.
Asad Shafiq has scored 121 runs in two matches, while skipper Sarfraz Ahamed and Imam ul Haq have also chipped in with fifties in the opening fixture. The visitors will need the above three to put in their best efforts on the pitch and get the team over the victory mark.
Shaheen Afridi has been the pick of the Pakistani bowlers in this series with nine wickets from two games and the team will want him to set the tone with the ball in the initial overs.
Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali are experienced campaigners in the side and both have shared eleven wickets between them. These three will look to exploit the conditions to get rid of the threatening South African batting lineup.
Expected Playing XI
Sarfraz Ahmed (C & W), Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah/Shadab Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam.Published 10 Jan 2019, 19:28 IST