Pakistan eye quick recovery, South Africa momentum with series locked
The return of Quinton de Kock adds power to South Africa's top order. © AFP

South Africa haven’t lost an ODI series for nearly a year, and gaining the advantage over Pakistan will be the target when the two teams meet at SuperSport Park for the third ODI on Friday. With the series squared at 1-1 after South Africa’s five-wicket win on Monday, Faf du Plessis’ men are rejuvenated and channeling that belief in the camp is what they want to go up 2-1 in the five-match contest.

Pakistan will be eying a quick recovery after losing the second ODI. A successful chase of 267 at Port Elizabeth was followed by a sorry performance at Kingsmead where Pakistan folded for 203. Another poor effort and they could easily be chasing the series.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has evaded sanction from the ICC for his racial slur against Andile Phelukwayo, but despite having apologised he will be scrutinised from all corners. As captain of a flagging team, Sarfraz will need to be especially sharp with his leadership and batting to help prevent Pakistan slipping too far behind South Africa.

Date: January 25

Venue: SuperSport Park, Centurion

Time: 16:30 IST

Weather: Most sunny with a high of 28 degrees

Team News

South Africa

Left-arm pacer Beuran Hendricks, Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn have returned to the ODI squad after being rested from the opening two matches. De Kock will resume opening the innings, which could push Hashim Amla down to No 3 unless South Africa drop Reeza Hendricks, who has scores of 5 and 45 in the series to follow a tally of 70 runs in three ODIs in Australia in November. With Rassie van der Dussen scoring 93 and 80*, South Africa could be tempted to keep him at one-down.

Dale Steyn © Getty Images
Dale Steyn is back for South Africa. © Getty

However, with Heinrich Klaasen’s axing having opened up the No 6 spot, South Africa will be wary after they lost five wickets early in the last game. So Hendricks could yet play, but at No 4 with du Plessis and David Miller each dropping down a place. With Duanne Olivier and Dane Paterson dropped, Hendricks and Steyn appears to step in. Hendricks is uncapped in ODIs but featured in seven ODIs between 2014 and 2017.

Probable XI: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Rassie van der Dussen, 4 Reeza Hendricks, 5 Faf du Plessis (capt), 6 David Miller, 7 Andile Phelukwayo, 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Beuran Hendricks, 11 Tabrais Shamsi

Pakistan

Scores of 26 and 25 may see Fakhar Zaman dropped for Shan Masood, who has not played an ODI. Hussain Talat could make way for Imad Wasim, while Faheem Ashraf’s place looks uncertain after he put in a fourth consecutive wicketless ODI to go with a duck. Pakistan could use a shot of pace and play Mohammad Amir.

Fakhar Zaman could get the chop after scores of 26 and 25.
Fakhar Zaman could get the chop after scores of 26 and 25. © IANS

Probable XI: 1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Fakhar Zaman/Shan Masood, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfraz Ahmed (capt/wk), 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Imad Wasim, 10 Mohammed Amir, 9 Hasan Ali, 11 Shaheen Shah Afridi

Statistics

– South Africa were beaten in their last two ODIs at SuperSport Park, both times to India in 2018. Pakistan have won four of nine ODIs there.

– Since losing 1-5 to India a little over a year ago, South Africa have won three straight ODI series.

– Shoaib Malik needs 65 runs to surpass Javed Miandad as Pakistan’s fifth most successful batsman in ODIs.

– Steyn is three wickets shy of moving past Lance Klusener to fifth in South Africa’s all-time ODI wickets table.

Quotes

An amazing start to his international career for Rassie. What you look for in new players is composure and calmness at the crease.” – du Plessis

“I did not even mean for my words to be heard, understood or communicated to the opposing team or the cricket fans. I have in the past and will continue in future to appreciate the camaraderie of my fellow cricketers from across the globe and will always respect and honour them on and off the field.” – Sarfraz