South Africa vs Pakistan 3rd ODI: After a lacklustre bowling performance in the first ODI, South Africa came roaring back into the series on the back of their bowlers who bowled out Pakistan for 203 in the first innings in Durban. Pakistan is a side which always fancies their chances of a comeback with the ball and they did give South Africa some nightmares by sending half their side back to the hut for only 80 runs on the board.
But the youngsters, Rassie van der Dussen and Andile Phehlukwayo turned up with their A-game helping South Africa cruise to victory after early jitters. This was also South Africa’s first ODI victory over Pakistan in 6 years, since beating them by 4 wickets in Centurion in 2013.
With the series level at 1-1, the action moves to Centurion to see which side breaks the deadlock.
Venue: The Centurion Park, Centurion
The Centurion Park has turned out to be the most amiable grounds for batsmen in South Africa since World Cup 2015. Even though the last two ODIs at the venue have seen first innings scores of 214 and 118 (South Africa were bowled out in both games by India), going back further, you will witness match totals of 680, 589 and 637.
Centurion has the highest average run rate among all grounds in South Africa since the last World Cup and second highest average runs per wicket in the stadiums that have hosted more than 1 game. The bowlers have struggled to strike at regular intervals at this venue which almost promises a run fest.
Expected XIs:(South Africa vs Pakistan 3rd ODI)
South Africa: Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn have joined the squad after a brief break from the game which will make South Africa change their balance. In their last 2 ODIs at this venue, they were dominated by the Indian spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav which can make them field a similar spin combination in Tabraiz Shamsi and Imran Tahir.
Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Reeza Hendricks/Heinrich Klaasen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dwayne Pretorius/Imran Tahir
Pakistan: Pakistan are almost certain to bring Mohammad Amir back in the side replacing Faheem Ashraf.
Imam Ul Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Hussain Talat, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Mohammed Amir, Shaheen Afridi
Fantasy Cricket Tips for South Africa vs Pakistan 3rd ODI
The fate could not have timed Quinton de Kock’s come back to the side better as the southpaw will be returning to the side on his favorite ground in South Africa. In his last 4 outings at the Supersport Park, de Kock has scored three hundreds. Overall, he has 562 runs at the venue with an average of 80.77 and strike rate in excess of 100.
de Kock has been synonymous to South Africa’s success in Centurion having scored close to 30% of his side’s runs in the 7 games he has played here.
The game consists of quite a lot of quality batsmen at the top of the order who will concede a big chunk of the credits’ quota. Just like Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla also enjoys the Centurion track where he has scored at an average of 67.61 in 14 innings.
Unlike the openers, Faf du Plessis has failed to notch any 50+ scores to his name while batting on this 22-yard strip here. This can be attributed to Top 3’s dominance at the stadium who are facing approximately 155 deliveries every game – 51.66% of the maximum number of legal balls in an ODI inning.
Faf himself has batted at number 3 thrice in Centurion but has not found flow with the bat.
While the South African openers have enjoyed their time in Centurion, the opposition have rather struggled with a considerable difference in the numbers and Pakistan openers have failed to carry on throughout the tour (except Imam who scored a fluent 86 in Port Elizabeth).
Babar Azam though stays an enticing pick but can only be taken at the cost of one among Hashim Amla or Quinton de Kock.
While the opposition openers have lagged behind, the middle order batsmen excel over their South African counterparts with slow bowlers taking on the mantle. Shoaib Malik is one of Pakistan’s better batsman against spin in white-ball cricket and might just be a better pick over David Miller. For the third batsman’s spot, there is none better than Rassie van der Dussen who has been in sensational form and provides balance to the fantasy cricket budget as well.
Mohammad Hafeez is another batsman who likes facing spinners a lot more than the pacers and has taken a liking to the #4 spot in the batting line-up. He will be up against his nemesis, Dale Steyn, but will fancy his chances against the fast bowler while batting in the middle overs.
Andile Phehlukwayo channelled out the inner Lance Klusener in him putting up a stand out performance in Durban which has made him a fantasy favorite for this game.
Pakistan top order was exposed to the short-ball ploy again in the second ODI which was led by Kagiso Rabada. Steyn and Shamsi are the other definite starters for the ODI in the bowling department.
Following the popular trend, even Centurion has been a testimonial in the rise of wrist spinners. Tabraiz Shamsi and Shadab Khan have left their imprint in the series.
Pakistan fast bowlers have not been able to take many wickets in the series so far. In fact, among the current lot, only Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi have been able to get into the wickets’ column.
Recommended XI: Quinton de Kock (vc), Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, Mohammad Hafeez (c), Shoaib Malik, Andile Phehlukwayo, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Shaheen Afridi
Captain and Vice-Captain:
With only 5 bowlers in Pakistan’s XI expected tomorrow, there is a good chance that Mohammad Hafeez will get much more overs to bowl as the 6th bowling option which enhances his potential to create an impact on the game with his all-round abilities.
Similarly, Quinton de Kock’s record at the venue makes it hard to look beyond for the vice-captaincy role.
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