SA Finished.273/6 (50) - 274/7 (50) PAK
South Africa vs Pakistan 1st ODI Prediction and Series Preview
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South Africa vs Pakistan 1st ODI Prediction and Series Preview

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2.04.2021, 13:30 IST
SuperSport Park, Centurion

It’s a battle between two teams in different stages of rebuilding. Pakistan have had much better luck as far as incoming talent is concerned, while South Africa are still struggling to find their groove in a world of cricket that the vast majority of their players are yet to understand, and their expert ex-players have left. Both teams will be desperate to win this series, though. Pakistan have the pressure of both their public and their home media outlets riding on their backs, while the Proteas are desperate for a win or two after a poor run of form in other formats. Throw in the fact that there are ICC Cricket World Cup Super League points up for grabs, and things get even more interesting. Let’s just hope Cricket South Africa and Pakistan Cricket Board manage to keep the bio-bubble intact. Before the bilateral series gets going, let’s take a look at the two sides.

South Africa

Full squad for ODI series vs Pakistan

Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Janneman Malan, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts, Rassie van der Dussen, Junior Dala, Lutho Sipamla, Wiaan Mulder, Sisanda Magala, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Daryn Dupavillon, Lizaad Williams.

South Africa predicted XI for 1st ODI vs Pakistan

Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Jon-Jon Smuts, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.

Preview and form

  • This match will be the start of Temba Bavuma’s ODI captaincy, and as the first African-descended captain of the side, he will be under pressure to do well on behalf of an entire country of people.

  • South Africa’s batting will almost be in full flow with most of their top current batsmen back in the side, with the only exception being Dean Elgar.

  • A lot will be riding on the shoulders of Quinton de Kock, who is by far the most experienced player in the side.

  • The Proteas will be glad to have their full pace battery back, with Rabada, Ngidi, Nortje, Phehlukwayo, and Sipamla all in the squad.

  • One thing the South Africans might have to worry about is the lack of genuine all-rounders in the side, which will have them relying on part-timers for some of the bowling, or risk fielding 5 bowlers.

  • Despite shoddy performances in other formats, South Africa have been doing exceptionally well in ODI series over the last few years, winning 6 of their last 7 bilateral series and only losing two of their last 17. That being said, it has been a while since they played such a series, with the last having taken place in early March last year.

South Africa key players for 1st ODI vs Pakistan

Temba Bavuma: The new captain is also a capable batsman, and with his experience, he’ll want to pitch in with the bat heavily.

Quinton de Kock: de Kock’s the one batsman the Proteas have who can really cut loose and get destructive.

Kagiso Rabada: Back in the side after a prolonged period of injury, Rabada will be eager to pick up some scalps.

Lungi Ngidi: Lacking discipline but excellent when in form, Ngidi will have to play his best game.


Full squad for ODI series vs South Africa

Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakil, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Hasan Ali, Usman Qadir.

Pakistan predicted XI for 1st ODI vs South Africa

Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain.

Preview and form

  • With Babar Azam leading the team, Pakistan will be in high spirits as they look to start a new chapter in their rich cricketing history. 

  • Fakhar Zaman, now a regular fixture in the side, will be keen on proving his critics even more wrong as he has been lately.

  • Mohammad Rizwan will also be a danger man for the side, which has been starved for top quality batting for a while now.

  • Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, and Hasan Ali will all love the pitches in South Africa, which generally favour fast bowlers.

  • Unlike the Proteas, however, Pakistan’s recent ODI form has been poor at best, with series wins against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and the West Indies the only triumphs they have had since the 2017 Champions trophy. 

Pakistan key players for 1st ODI vs South Africa

Babar Azam: The best batsman Pakistan have produced in decades.

Mohammad Rizwan: If anyone can give Azam a run for his money as far as the aforementioned title is concerned, it’s Rizwan if he continues his amazing form.

Shaheen Shah Afridi: The intrepid speedster is excitable, fast, and deadly - three things all fast bowlers should be.

Haris Rauf: Not as celebrated as Afridi, but no less effective on a good day.

South Africa vs Pakistan head to head

South Africa will be happy to play against Pakistan because they have an excellent record against them, winning 50 and losing only 28. In fact, Pakistan have only ever won one bilateral ODI series against the Proteas, which was almost 7 years ago. This is definitely South Africa’s series to lose.

South Africa vs Pakistan 1st ODI pitch report and weather conditions

The pitch at the Supersport Park, Centurion is one virtually dedicated to fast bowlers. This means the pace batteries of both teams - both highly capable - will love tearing up the surface. Unlike Johannesburg, though, runs are hard to come by in these parts. Expect teams winning the toss to want to bowl first; and those batting first should try to rack up 250+ to put up a strong fight.

It’ll be a thoroughly pleasant day for cricket in Centurion, South Africa. The temperature will wiggle in the mid-twenties, and with middling humidity, virtually no chance for rain and a nice breeze, things should be idyllic for cricket.

Can South Africa get off to a much-needed-for-team-morale winning start? Or will the Pakistanis announce their visit with a knockout blow? Find out if our South Africa vs Pakistan 1st ODI predictions come true on Friday!

Match Winner:
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SA Top Batsman:
Q de Kock
PAK Top Batsman:
M Rizwan
SA Top Bowler (Wickets):
K Rabada
PAK Top Bowler (Wickets):
SS Afridi
Players to score a fifty:
Q de Kock/T Bavuma/A Markram (SA), M Rizwan/B Azam/F Zaman (PAK)
Players to score a century:
Q de Kock/T Bavuma (SA), M Rizwan/B Azam (PAK)
Most fours:
Most sixes:
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