Pakistan will face off against South Africa in the first T20 match of their tour of South Africa. The visitors won the three-match ODI series 2-1. The hosts will now want to play some good cricket and win this format of the game. With the T20 World Cup coming up at the end of the year, the focus will be a lot more than usual on the upcoming series. Cricket betting will be in full flow for this game, with the visitors having the advantage.
The headlines on Thursday evening speculate that the in-form Fakhar Zaman might replace Shadab Khan in the Pakistani squad. That is as the visitors get into a 20 over a tussle with South Africa, with the fans expecting a good cricket match. Babar Azam and company come into the T20 series after registering thumping wins in the ODIs and finishing the 50 over format at 2-1. Pakistan players seem to be motivated and ready to perform with an improved batting, bowling, and fielding setup. Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Haider Ali at the top with decent experience of Mohammad Hafeez and Sarfaraz Khan in the middle would look much dangerous if Zaman is included in the mix. Their bowling would largely depend on what Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf bring to the table.
Pakistan T20 squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal
There has been widespread criticism coming from pundits – mainly Pakistani – on Cricket South Africa’s decision to let go of the IPL bound players leaving the hosts without the services of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Quinton De Kock, Faf du Plessis, and Lungi Ngidi. What they have left is a much less experienced team with a lot of lacunae to fill. This difficulty comes with the opportunity for the Porteas to test their bench strength. Younger guns will get a chance as Temba Bavuma leads the team.
South Africa T20 squad: Temba Bavuma (captain) Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Rassie van der Dussen, Janneman Malan, Sisanda Magala, Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Pite van Biljon, Migael Pretorius, Lizaad Williams, Wihan Lubbe
South Africa and Pakistan have faced each other 17 times in T20 matches. SA has won nine matches and Pakistan has emerged victorious in eight games.
Given the fact that South Africa doesn’t have about five of their A team players, Pakistan should find an easy win in the first T20. Wanderers presents a lightning-quick outfield and the fielders will have a tough day at the office. It is a balanced pitch and both bat and ball could enjoy different phases of play.
Date and Time:
April 10, 2021 (Saturday)
The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg