South Africa welcome Pakistan for a pair of white-ball series that will cap off the home summer.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
The ODI series gets proceedings underway with SuperSport Park in Centurion hosting the first match.
South Africa vs Pakistan | Friday 2 April 2021 | SuperSport Park, Centurion | 10:00
To Win Match
South Africa 52/100
The series marks the beginning of the era of Temba Bavuma as the Proteas white-ball skipper with the squad at his disposal, offering a glimpse into the future of South African cricket.
David Miller adds experience to a relatively green Proteas outfit, and he comes into the series off the back of an outstanding CSA T20 Challenge season where he played his part in getting the Hollywoodbets Dolphins to the final.
Quinton de Kock has been freed of the captaincy, and team management will hope this coincides with an upturn in the form of their opening batsman. Bavuma is likely to partner De Kock up top, although Janneman Malan and JJ Smuts are also options.
The Proteas desperately need to find a way to integrate Kyle Verreynne into their middle-order with the wicketkeeper-batsman red-hot in domestic cricket.
Keshav Maharaj has earned an ODI recall after a splendid domestic campaign, which convinced selectors to rethink the spinner’s national team role. Maharaj was a big part of the Dolphins incredible season which saw the Durbanites reach all three finals and claim two titles.
Among the quicks, Sisanda Magala gets another crack at national team honours after previous call-ups saw him axed for failed fitness tests.
The Proteas big three fast bowlers Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi will all be available for the series.
Pakistan come to South Africa with the team under great scrutiny thanks to a succession of scandals, including widespread criticism of the selection choices.
Babar Azam will lead the side despite facing charges of sexual harassment. The skipper had only a limited impact when Pakistan faced South Africa at home and will want to improve his batting form.
Pakistan’s quicks face the challenge of adjusting to the pace and bounce of highveld wickets without getting carried away and bowling too short.
Even on hard and bouncy tracks, spin always plays its part in the white ball game. Usman Qadir was the breakout star of the T20I series in Pakistan between these two sides but will need to show that he can translate that into ODI cricket abroad.
Verdict: South Africa 52/100
The Proteas should hold an edge in the early going.
Written by James Richardson.