South Africa vs Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Preview: Action shifts back to cricket amidst racism fiasco
With Steyn and De Kock, South Africa are looking a stronger unit.
Updated - Jan 24, 2019 8:48 pm
More than South Africa’s series levelling victory at the Kingsmead, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s racial remarks against Andile Phehlukwayo made the headlines over the last couple of days. While the ICC is investigating the matter, the Pakistan captain has to make sure that his and the team’s focus isn’t disturbed after that incident. The visitors might have to face the wrath from the spectators in Centurion.
Apart from the controversy, the Men in Green have a lot to ponder. Their batting continued to flounder while facing the bouncers and the Proteas are expected to come out with the same tactics again. The bowlers are in great nick for Pakistan but they will need some runs upfront from their batsmen if they bat first. Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali have been particularly exceptional and the duo will be key once again for them.
Meanwhile, there are also reports of Sarfaraz getting suspended ahead of the third ODI and in that case, Shoaib Malik could be the stand-in skipper for Pakistan.
South Africa have brought back their top gun players in Dale Steyn and Quinton de Kock and both of them will play in all probablity. The batting is a worry for them as well and the home side almost botched up the 203-run chase in the last game. With series levelled and back with the full strength squad, Faf du Plessis will feel more confident going into the important match of the series.
The rotation policy at the top of the order is likely to continue for South Africa. While De Kock comes back to open the innings along side Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen will bat at three. Faf’s form is never a concern and he, along with David Miller will be looking to make amends. Moreover, only one of Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram will play and bat at four it seems with Dussen scoring runs in both the games.
Andle Phehlukwayo had a dream game in Durban while Dale Steyn, Tabraiz Shamsi and Kagiso Rabada in the team. Beuran Hendricks is in line for his ODI debut and might walk straight into the team to replace Duanne Olivier.
Probable XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, Reeza Hendricks/Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Beuran Hendricks.
Pakistan might be tempted to hand a debut to Shan Masood by dropping one of Imam Ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman. But the openers might get another chance with Babar Azam, Hafeez and Malik to follow. Malik might have to lead the team as well in case Sarfaraz Ahmed is suspended for his racial remarks in the previous game. Also, Mohammad Rizwan will play if that happens and Shadab Khan is the only specialist spinner in the line-up.
With the pitch likely to be fast-paced, Mohammd Amir might come into the side for Hussain Talat who virtually did nothing Durban. Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali and Shaheen have been exceptional as well.
Probable XI: Imam ul Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk)/Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Hussain Talat/Mohammad Amir, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi.
Focus will be on
Rassie van der Dussen (South Africa)
The youngster has carried his MSL T20 form in the ODIs as well. Batting at three, VD Dussen has grabbed the opportunity with both the hands in two matches so far. With the scores of 93 and 80* on his back, it will be interesting to see if he manages to make it to the three-figure mark in Centurion. Moreover, if RVD remains consistent, he might even seal a World Cup spot for himself at the top of the order ahead of Markram and Hendricks.
Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan)
A lot was expected of this dynamic left-handed batsman after he scored a double-century against Zimbabwe last year. But his willow has gone quiet since that series. Pakistan needs him back in form desperately and what better than doing it in the crunch game! With World Cup approaching fast and Shan Masood breathing down the neck, Fakhar needs to prove his mettle soon.
Head to Head
Matches – 74 | South Africa won – 49 | Pakistan won – 25 | NR – 1
95 – Kagiso Rabada needs only five wickets to complete 100 scalps in ODI cricket.
562 – Quinton de Kock has amassed 562 runs in seven innings with four centuries in Centurion.
TV – Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD
Live Streaming – Sony LIV
Match Timings – 16:30 IST; 13:00 local