|Finished.188/6 (20) - 189/6 (19.5)|
After a thrilling three-match ODI series that Pakistan claimed in the dying overs of the final match, they will meet hosts South Africa on the field for a 4-match T20 series. South Africa have sent a large contingent of players up to India for the IPL, while Pakistan have their full squad, meaning that the hosts will be playing with plenty of new names. With the T20 World Cup looming and players eager to break through into the main team, there’s everything to play for. Before leather hits willow, let’s take a look at the two sides.
Full squad for T20 series vs Pakistan
Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), George Linde, Janneman Malan, Sisanda Magala, Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Pite van Biljon (wk), Migael Pretorius, Lizaad Williams, Wihan Lubbe.
South Africa predicted XI for 1st T20 vs Pakistan
Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), George Linde, Janneman Malan, Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Pite van Biljon, Wihan Lubbe.
South Africa preview and form
If you’re wondering why there’s no (c) after Bjorn Fortuin, it’s because he’s not the captain. Following Temba Bavuma’s injury, the Proteas are yet to announce who the captain will be.
With so many players missing due to a variety of reasons, South Africa will be hard-pressed to field 11 players who can give such a strong Pakistan side a good fight.
Heinrich Klaasen and Janneman Malan will have to lead the batting alongside Kyle Verreynne and Pite van Biljon, with a large possibility of a lesser-known replacement for Temba Bavuma coming in.
Lutho Sipamla, Bjorn Fortuin, and Dwaine Pretorius, themselves not having much experience, will have to lead the pace attack, while Tabraiz Shamsi and all-rounder George Linde provide support with spin.
Things don’t look well for South Africa in the form department, as they haven’t won a bilateral T20 series since March 2019.
South Africa key players for 1st T20 vs Pakistan
Heinrich Klaasen: One of two key South African batsmen, Klaasen needs to show his T20 skills after a poor ODI series.
Janneman Malan: Malan had a good start in the last ODI, and needs to carry his form over into the T20s.
Dwaine Pretorius: Not South Africa’s premier choice, Pretorious must play like one.
Tabraiz Shamsi: as one of the more experienced players in the squad, Shamsi must do his best to help his team.
Full squad for T20 series vs South Africa
Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal, Usman Qadir.
Pakistan predicted XI for 1st T20 vs South Africa
Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal.
Pakistan preview and form
Player of the series in the ODIs, Babar Azam will now lead his side into the T20s with hopes of similar results.
The visitors have a loaded batting lineup, with Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab and Sharjeel Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Asif and Haider Ali, and Mohammad Rizwan all ready and waiting to cut loose.
Faheem Ashraf, Pakistan’s genuine all-rounder, will be joined by Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Wasim.
Considering the pitch, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, and Hasan Ali are all viable choices, but we think Pakistan might want to try out Arshad Iqbal as well. Either Mohammad Nawaz or Usman Qadir will also be around for some spin to assist Mohammad Hafeez.
Pakistan have won 3 out of their last 5 T20 series, with one of them being against the very team they are about to face just a few days ago. Their form over the last two years hasn’t been the best, but before that, they were nigh untouchable for about 2 years.
Pakistan key players for 1st T20 vs South Africa
Babar Azam: Admit it, you know this was coming and you know exactly why.
Mohammad Rizwan: After a subpar ODI series, Rizwan will be looking to improve his game.
Faheem Ashraf: The all-rounder has been fantastic for Pakistan as of late.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: Expect Afridi to tear up the tarmac at the Wanderers.
South Africa vs Pakistan head to head
Unlike their lop-sided stats in ODIs, T20 stats between Pakistan and Afghanistan are pretty even. Pakistan have 8 wins to the hosts’ 9, with no ties between them. That being said, South Africa have won 4 series to Pakistan’s two.
South Africa vs Pakistan 1st T20 pitch report and weather conditions
In T20 matches, the Wanderers pitch either yields very high scores or very low, mostly depending on how well the fast bowlers bowl, and how adeptly the batsmen play fast bowling. With South Africa missing their big guns, Pakistan will definitely have the upper hand in terms of bowling. Batting first or second isn’t much of a concern here, but teams batting first should definitely think of putting up 190+.
There aren’t many days more perfect for cricket than the one in Joburg tomorrow. Pleasant temperature for everyone south of the Arctic circle, slight breeze, and absolutely no rain predicted.
Can the inexperienced Protean squad surprise the seasoned visitors? Or will the latter simply overpower their opposition with skills honed over hundreds of matches? Find out if our South Africa versus Pakistan 1st T20 predictions come true on Saturday!
|SA Top Batsman:|
|PAK Top Batsman:|
|SA Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|PAK Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|J Malan/H Klaasen (SA), B Azam/M Rizwan (PAK)|