Series: Pakistan’s tour of South Africa 2018-19
Match: 1st ODI
Date: 19th January 2019,Saturday
Time: 1PM Local Time
Vemue: St. George’s Park,Port Elizabeth
After intimidating Pakistan with a whitewash in the Test series, South Africa will play five ODIs against the same opposition. Both these teams begin their preparations for the World Cup 2019 with this series first up. For the last two months, both the Proteas and Pakistan didn’t play any one-day international cricket.
Hence, this series will be extremely critical for them going forward, not only to get their combinations right but also to gain some momentum early on. Despite the loss in the Test series, the visitors will go in as a much confident side owing to their performances in the last five encounters against South Africa. Pakistan last played ODIs in South Africa in 2013/14, when they defeated the hosts 2-1.Then, they met twice later on, once in World Cup 2015 and once in the Champions Trophy 2017. Pakistan won both these games quite comfortably. But, they’ll have to be wary of the fact that South Africa won their last three ODI series against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Australia. One cannot take the Proteas lightly, for they’ve got some of the best players in world cricket.
For a relief in Pakistan’s camp De Kock and Steyn won’t feature in the 1st two one dayers. The Proteas seem to be experimenting with World Cup in mind. Pakistan will also try to have a solid condition at the top. shan Masood will be hoping for chances after his brilliant show with the bat in tests.
The home side has made some changes to the squad from the last time they played Australia. For the series opener, they might try out a debutant in the form of Rassie van der Dussen to open the innings with Aiden Markram. Hashim Amla, who is back after a brief hiatus will bat at number three. Imran Tahir will be the lone spinner in the attack. Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo will share the pace bowling duties.
Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (c), Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dane Paterson, Dwaine Pretorius, Imran Tahir, Kagiso Rabada.
Pakistan also made a few changes with their combinations. The visitors might want to open the innings with Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq followed by Mohammad Hafeez at three. While Shadab Khan will take up the spinner duties,One bowler between Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Amir could be picked with the former being the most likely.
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c) (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan, Shaheen AfridI.
Runs scored by Imam-ul-Haq in ODIs thus far is 819. He’ll need another 181 runs in the next two innings to level Fakhar Zaman’s record. The left-hander will break the record of Sir Vivian Richards in case he gets there within the next four innings.
Hashim Amla has to score 304 in the next eight innings to break Virat Kohli’s record of being fastest to 8,000 ODI runs. The South African will be eyeing at breaking this record in this series itself.
Weather- The day will mostly be sunny with temperature hovering around 32-33. Chances of rains are bleak.
Ground and Conditions- The pitch here is placid and a very much batting paradise. Last time 329 had been chased here. Boundaries are not very long. The new ball will swing both ways.
Toss- The toss isn’t a matter of concern as batting first or second doesn’t matter much just that runs on the board will be needed.
Prediction- South Africa in their home ground will definitely be very favourite.Pakistans bowling is world but their batting in this condition might not do much. So Africa should win the match.