After an embarrassing loss in the opening one-dayer, Pakistan had enough time to regroup and rethink their strategy. The time has come for the Men in Green to deliver, as they gears up to face in-form South Africa in the second encounter at Centurion on
Friday, March 15th.
Defeat always brings controversies and this is what happened to the Green Shirts. A massive loss in the first game sparked rumours about conflicts between Mohammad Hafeez – possibly the next captain – and Misbah-ul-Haq – who is probably playing one of his
last few series.
Things have calmed down a little now. Hafeez and Misbah are good old friends, and have played plenty of cricket together at the domestic level. It seems that the team is ready to dish out revenge.
But they really need something extra special. The batting department has been Pakistan’s biggest pain so far. Former Pakistan openers, Mudassar Nazar and Mohsin Khan, have already demanded Kamran Akmal’s promotion in the batting order, as Hafeez is not doing
well with the bat.
The Proteas, on the other hand, are just perfect. From batting to bowling, they have outclassed the tourists in each department so far. Skipper AB de Villiers is satisfied with the team’s performance, but he still wants improvement.
Dale Steyn is available now. He was the one who troubled the visiting side big time in the Tests. Morne Morkel is still nursing his hamstring strain and the side probably does not need him yet.
South Africa: (probable) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Colin Ingram, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 Faf du Plessis, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 Rory Kleinveldt, 10 Dale Steyn/Kyle Abbott, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe
Pakistan: (probable) 1 and 2 Nasir Jamshed/Kamran Akmal/Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Asad Shafiq, 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Umar Gul, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Mohammed Irfan
The pitch has more pace and carry than in Bloemfontein. But the difference is the size of the field. Centurion has way shorter boundary – something that could prove helpful for the players like Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal.
"You get value for your shots in Centurion. In Bloemfontein, the strategy was to run Pakistan off their feet and we did that well but you have to protect the boundary here. It should be a high-scoring game," said De Villiers.
"Normally wherever you go in one-day cricket, conditions are good for batting. The second T20 was really a wicket that suited Pakistan so if it is like that, it will really suit us,” Misbah-ul-Haq feels.