Pakistan v South Africa, 5th ODI, Dubai November 7, 2010

South Africa must perform under pressure

Graeme Smith's side could, and probably should, be 4-0 up against Pakistan but their bowlers have twice failed under pressure. The deciding clash is a chance to put that right
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When South Africa take on Pakistan in the fifth one-day international in Dubai it will be the first time since 2007 that they are involved in a series decider. Coincidentally, it was also in a series locked at 2-2 against Pakistan that the team last experienced a grand finale, three years ago. If South Africa are looking for good omens, they came out on top that day.

It's an important event for a side that has never been to the final of the World Cup but who has reached the semi-final stage three times. That fact has contributed heavily to South Africa being labelled "chokers", and painted as a team that collapses when the going gets too tough. Now they have an opportunity to perform in a difficult situation, something that the team management sees as a beneficial exercise.

"The pressure is huge," assistant coach Vincent Barnes told ESPNCricinfo, "and it's good that it's like that. It will give our guys, especially the younger ones, some valuable experience as to what tournaments like the World Cup are all about."

The South Africa one-day squad is a different beast to the one it was in 2007. The veteran wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has been replaced behind the stumps by AB de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs' opening spot has been taken by Hashim Amla and the new-ball pairing of Makhaya Ntini and Shaun Pollock is now the duo of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

Since May this year three new players have been blooded. Batsmen David Miller and Colin Ingram, along with paceman Rusty Theron, have all impressed in the early stages of their careers with Ingram recording a century on debut and Theron taking a five-wicket haul in his second game against Zimbabwe. However, it is this transitional phase that has been tricky to negotiate, more from a bowling perspective than a batting one.

Names such as Andre Nel have faded from memory and the likes of Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell have been tasked with taking the team forward. Although the bowlers coming through the system are plentiful, it is the area that's been the culprit and landed South Africa in the situation they are in now; tied at 2-2 when they could easily have been 4-0 up. They failed to defend totals of 286 and 274 in the second and fourth ODIs of the current series against Pakistan, losing both matches with a ball to go after their death bowling failed to cope with the pressure.

In those four matches, South Africa have only used the same opening bowling combination in two game when Tsotsobe and Charl Langeveldt played together. In the third match, Langeveldt was dropped, after being taken apart by Abdul Razzaq, and Morkel opened with Tsotsobe. Tsotsobe then had to sit out of the fourth encounter because of back spasms and Parnell opened with Morkel. Steyn, who was out injured until Friday's match, returned and bowled first change but conceded 79 runs.

These musical chairs have been necessary for two reasons: assisting players who are returning from injury and ensuring players get enough game time ahead of the test series which starts next Friday. "We have had some injuries and the injured players have had to have a run, so at times we used different combinations in the series," said Barnes. "Dale and Wayne had to be given a run because they are also part of our Test squad and need to play."

It has meant that South Africa have not found a set game plan for their bowling and, with only six ODIs left before next year's World Cup, are still very much in an experimental phase. Barnes would not be drawn on which combination would play in the decider although it seems that Steyn is a certainty because he needs match time. He also praised the work of Tsotsobe, suggesting he may return if fully fit, and the effort of Theron who bowled the crucial over the third game to secure a two-run victory.

"Dale has a history of being a slow starter, but I was very impressed with his pace and intensity," said Barnes. "He needs a couple of games and he will be back firing on all cylinders. The form of Lopsy has been fantastic and we hope it continues and Rusty has shown he can convert domestic form internationally."

One of the surprises has been Theron only playing in one match, especially with South Africa's problems of closing out an innings. Already in his short career, Theron has displayed the death-bowling skills which made him so successful in the domestic MTN40 and Pro20 last season. His early efforts suggest that South Africa leave him out at their peril as they aim to overcome pressure and shed that dreaded chokers tag.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shovwar on November 8, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    SA proved that they dont choke in a cruch match today...And Pakistan i wud say "Choked" after the start they had....SA is the better side no matter how much ppl argue...its the fact...rankings also says that, so is the result of the series. Pak needs to improve more for the WC. One of the Pak fan sed that SA wud not made 270+ if Botha did not hit those runs in the death.....ARE U SERIOUS?....WUT U SMOKING? Its Botha's job....he is not on a vacation in Dubal...lol..I am not saying SA wudv won in the 2nd game if Razzak was out!!! Cos I know its Cricket n Razzak is a Pakistan player who plays to win....I dont completely disagree with the author....but not 5-0 i think it shuda been 4-1 to SA baring the 2nd game.

  • Smasher79 on November 8, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    Mr Moonda I was quiet taken aback by your analysis of 4-0. I hope you were not serious. Even if you were joking, that was the stupidest comment I have ever seen, didn't make any sense at all. Pardon me for this but how exactly did you end up being an analyst or commentator or whatever. Obviously, your academic achievements can't seem to ensure the quality in your article. Re schooling, maybe. Just a suggestion mate. Anyway, well done to SA and I am also glad to see PAK performing so well. Thanks for a thrilling series.

    Someone called both teams chokers. Understandable in SA's case as they have a history. Pakistan? Were you born yesterday buddy .. :)

  • asif_the_spotfixer on November 8, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    and the result of fifth oneday is south africa win by 57 runs comprehensively ,, and pakistan still in urge of their first odi win from past two years,,, same old story....

  • on November 8, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    This article, is extremely biased. SA should probably be 4-0? Like seriously? We should have won the second odi. Our batsmen performed amazing down the order. Even if we lose today, i consider this series a serious improvement for a team thats been controversy hit for this long. So get your facts straight.

  • on November 8, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    now i will be happy to see wat 2nd prefereed team they are having yousuf akmal apart from them no one was expected plz dont say salman butt not in odi team for very very long because of ultra poor form because in that way south africans can say bring back gibbs in odi.

    this is all just excuses. they have noone in team to replace apart from one player which i think is the opened shahbaz or something like that but apart from that theirs your team which will play in world cup whereas in south africa i am sure gibbs will make a comeback.

  • absn95 on November 8, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    i am an indian and have to agree 4-0...what a biased comment,pak could have won the last 2 infact!this has been their first ever series in 29 months that they have not lost a match and followed it with another..so signs of improvement are there...I think 3-2 for sa is a fair result as of now but 4-0!!!!hell no!

  • Amol_Gh on November 8, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Irfan_421: Isn't Johan Botha an SA player???!!!

  • mahjut on November 8, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    I'm guessing at the content (it's usually much of a muchness when refering to SA the chokers - i know that's not really an excuse not to read it but...really...) the idea of 4-0 is harsh for a number of reasons. Razzaq played exceptionally well - the 'great' Waugh used to say if we get beaten by something special - fine! it was special and he deserved the win. And have played pretty well in all the matches (i didn't see the first). The other games were close - it's harsh on SA to use chokers (i'm assuming an insinuation), SA were also playing a second team bowlng line-up and death bowling with two recovering bowlers was always going to be difficult and in fact the very last over by Parnel in the last match was bowled very well. I think SA will wrap up the series today but it's been a close one - about right for SA openning their season and bringing back injured players. and about right for PK who by all accounts are truly in a bind

  • on November 8, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    never read such a ridiculous article..yeah they played well in the first three but the truth is that in the last three games,they have lost two and almost lost the third.Today InshAllah Pakistan will win like in the semi final of T20,when people like u used say things like that:)

  • Hindh on November 8, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    what a series it has been 2 chokers playing each other........

  • shovwar on November 8, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    SA proved that they dont choke in a cruch match today...And Pakistan i wud say "Choked" after the start they had....SA is the better side no matter how much ppl argue...its the fact...rankings also says that, so is the result of the series. Pak needs to improve more for the WC. One of the Pak fan sed that SA wud not made 270+ if Botha did not hit those runs in the death.....ARE U SERIOUS?....WUT U SMOKING? Its Botha's job....he is not on a vacation in Dubal...lol..I am not saying SA wudv won in the 2nd game if Razzak was out!!! Cos I know its Cricket n Razzak is a Pakistan player who plays to win....I dont completely disagree with the author....but not 5-0 i think it shuda been 4-1 to SA baring the 2nd game.

  • Smasher79 on November 8, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    Mr Moonda I was quiet taken aback by your analysis of 4-0. I hope you were not serious. Even if you were joking, that was the stupidest comment I have ever seen, didn't make any sense at all. Pardon me for this but how exactly did you end up being an analyst or commentator or whatever. Obviously, your academic achievements can't seem to ensure the quality in your article. Re schooling, maybe. Just a suggestion mate. Anyway, well done to SA and I am also glad to see PAK performing so well. Thanks for a thrilling series.

    Someone called both teams chokers. Understandable in SA's case as they have a history. Pakistan? Were you born yesterday buddy .. :)

  • asif_the_spotfixer on November 8, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    and the result of fifth oneday is south africa win by 57 runs comprehensively ,, and pakistan still in urge of their first odi win from past two years,,, same old story....

  • on November 8, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    This article, is extremely biased. SA should probably be 4-0? Like seriously? We should have won the second odi. Our batsmen performed amazing down the order. Even if we lose today, i consider this series a serious improvement for a team thats been controversy hit for this long. So get your facts straight.

  • on November 8, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    now i will be happy to see wat 2nd prefereed team they are having yousuf akmal apart from them no one was expected plz dont say salman butt not in odi team for very very long because of ultra poor form because in that way south africans can say bring back gibbs in odi.

    this is all just excuses. they have noone in team to replace apart from one player which i think is the opened shahbaz or something like that but apart from that theirs your team which will play in world cup whereas in south africa i am sure gibbs will make a comeback.

  • absn95 on November 8, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    i am an indian and have to agree 4-0...what a biased comment,pak could have won the last 2 infact!this has been their first ever series in 29 months that they have not lost a match and followed it with another..so signs of improvement are there...I think 3-2 for sa is a fair result as of now but 4-0!!!!hell no!

  • Amol_Gh on November 8, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Irfan_421: Isn't Johan Botha an SA player???!!!

  • mahjut on November 8, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    I'm guessing at the content (it's usually much of a muchness when refering to SA the chokers - i know that's not really an excuse not to read it but...really...) the idea of 4-0 is harsh for a number of reasons. Razzaq played exceptionally well - the 'great' Waugh used to say if we get beaten by something special - fine! it was special and he deserved the win. And have played pretty well in all the matches (i didn't see the first). The other games were close - it's harsh on SA to use chokers (i'm assuming an insinuation), SA were also playing a second team bowlng line-up and death bowling with two recovering bowlers was always going to be difficult and in fact the very last over by Parnel in the last match was bowled very well. I think SA will wrap up the series today but it's been a close one - about right for SA openning their season and bringing back injured players. and about right for PK who by all accounts are truly in a bind

  • on November 8, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    never read such a ridiculous article..yeah they played well in the first three but the truth is that in the last three games,they have lost two and almost lost the third.Today InshAllah Pakistan will win like in the semi final of T20,when people like u used say things like that:)

  • Hindh on November 8, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    what a series it has been 2 chokers playing each other........

  • on November 8, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    LOL @ 4-0 up!!

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    this is a highly biased piece of work. As alot of people are saying Pakistan should have been up 3-1....we ourselves lost the 3rd ODI....to say SA shouldve been up 4-0 is preposterous.i mean honestly what is the author thinking here. I dont know why alot of people are calling for the return of Kamran Akmal! its high time he be given the boot, he has cost Pakistan too many matches because of his inefficient glovemanship.anyone remember the sydney test match, england 2006,SA 2007 (both pak and sa) just to name a few. Enough is enough with kamaran. Addios Kami. We dont want you in the team. The nation has had enough of your blunders and mishaps.

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    I totally disagree with the writer Pakistan would have won the series already 3-1, remember 1 thing Pakistan is playing thr 2nd best team but still manage to level the series with all the pressure on and off the field this is wat v call a gr8 team look at England only i allegation of fixing cost them 2 matches how abt Pakistan? they r playing with all the difficulties and still winning and if losing then those loses r with very neay margin. Think of Pakistan team with no problems and with thr best team?

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    we will see which team won this series because it will be great for south africa young team to beat pakistan in asian condition , it will help them a lot for world cup.

    just one thing herschhele gibbs must return to team though he is out of form i have a feeling he can be the one to win south africa the world cup.

    he has lead south africa to 2 semi finals in world cup.

    whereas pakistan has not crossed the group stages for last 2 world cup.

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    dont say atleast 5-6 first choice players first fit them and then say.

    you have just 3 positions haider faraht and alam(though he played sensibly) apart from them you want to throw razzaq out or hafeez i dont think so .

    you are talking of a team which used to be regular a few years ago. like salman butt he has been dropped so many times he has not got a single half century against south africa . asif is over without any doubt. aamer has long way to go.and about bowlers south african younger bowlers have done much better the fielding let them down.

    morne morkel by far the best bowler with most wickets and great economy .

    lonwabo which even afridi cannot hit he has made afridi a bunny of him he did not play last game , rusty which dont allow your pakistan team 5 runs out of 4 balls .

    rusty perfomane is no fluke those who have watched him will know he has did the same with many sides.

    south africa still holds the upper hand reason both their bowling and batting better

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    South Africa are not 4-0 up precisely because they think that they would be 4-0 up and that too easily...even before the series started

    You cant win with such Arrogance. Irrespective of good or bad death bowling.

  • Amol_Gh on November 8, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    I think all mouths will be shut for once when today SA displays why Pakistan has never won a series against them. And most probably even today JUST LIKE 2007, SA will show why they are the kings when it is about Bilateral series. I'm an Indian and most probably be happy today when SA sink their teeth (and hands) into that trophy today.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 8, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    Inshaallah, pls give the verdict to the match fixers.

  • on November 8, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    agreed. Pakistan should have been 3-1 up. They have always been good at hitting at the death overs ...whats new with that ???

    THey r playing without atleast 5-6 first choice players and they have chased twice a target more then 270. Most people these days r targeting Pakistan for reasons only known to them. I think they have played pretty well in this series. Best of Luck Pakistan for today :))

  • on November 8, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    What a ridiculous article. What do you mean SA 'should' have been 4-0 up. The way I was seeing the matches Pakistan 'should' have been 3-1 up. Seems like you are totally seeing different matches on some parallel universe. In 4th ODI Pak was always on top except the middle part. In 3rd ODI as well, useless pressure was created by Pakistan top order for a small amount of runs.

  • on November 8, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    Third game we had a 2 runs defeat, and other two winning games are close encounters, you can't really grade pakistan side as 4-0? Think again writter... Write something in general, and remove favor-ism from your brain.

  • Faraz99 on November 8, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    I agree with the writer & also Umpiring in this series is really shocking, stump of AB & LBW of Ingram are just blind decisiions & cost the matches for SA. Also I was a bit surprised SA bowling hasb been far below their standards & also Fielding is extremely poor. IF in the 4th ODI smith holds the Whab catch than the match might be over..but SA drop too many catches & misses many run outs + over throws its amazing to see SA feilding gone that below leevel.

  • Irfan_421 on November 8, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    i also diagree. i think SA manged 270+ bcoz of botha knock otherwise it would b a eazy victory for pakistan and SA reduced to 250.

  • on November 8, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    From the outset, everyone is pinning on Pakistan that they will lose the series...but they have shown everyone why they are called the most dangerous and unpredictable side in the world...I agree that SA were favorites at the start of the series but Pak team has been performing well in ODI's, series against England was closely fought, even in Asia cup the results could have been a little different if luck would have been with them...I am an Indian and i really like to see Pak team to play well and win this series, because Pakistan is always known for its cricket rather than anything else, and Afridi and his men now have the time to prove it...All the best...

  • shovwar on November 8, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    I am pretty sure this Pakistan team is the first choice team....the full supposedly Pakistan team that every1 is talikin was not this good...this Pakistan team is better and they are showing it. They did it in England and now they are doin it at home. But i still think that SA team is experimenting too much and they are a better team which they would prove tomorrow.

  • on November 8, 2010, 4:46 GMT

    HERE one guy has said shoaib gul aamer and asif bowling together. in that case i would love to brought one thing to your notice if you dont mind.

    how will you choose your batsmen in no manner the batting is weak even now and with that it will be finished as we know abdul and shahid are not tendulkars or kallis who will play consistently with bat so .

    so dont name the team which was regular at one time otherwise i will say bring back pollock bring back hansie cronje .

    the only bowler is gul who is out of form because of injury.

    infact 80-85% team will be same for both pakistan and south africa .

    their can be 2-3 changes in both team for pakistan,

    1-haider he may not be in team 2-fawad alam 3-farhat

    apart from these i dont think any other change will happen

    for south africa 1-gibbs may not sure but he may play last world cup 2-david miller can be dropped(suspectible against reverse and spinners) 3-boucher may make a comeback

  • on November 8, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    if i was like you then my first line up players.

    1-david jacobs 2-herscheele gibbs 3-mark boucher 4-ntini(now retired) 5-charl langevledt(not played last game) 6smith(dont play two games) 7-rusty theoron 8-dale steyn(miss 3 games hasnt played for months)

    now 8 first choice players dont play for south africa .

    so grow up mate this is fact south africa till now would have wrapped the series if they have not commited small mistakes like smith dropping that no 10 batsmen in last game . and many more but as they said better here rather than in world cup.

    choose players on form and on that basis neither salman butt nor yousuff(in terrible form), kamran akmal(never in form batsmen) umar akmal(played two games was easily out) asif(not intersted in cricket ) gul he played 1 game completely ineffective because of injury(otherwise excelelnt) ajmal he was dropped

    atleast south africa is better giving chance to lot of new guyz and two of them clicked collin ingram

  • on November 8, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    YOU know wat you are suffereing from a disease called " excuses". first of all i am not from south africa i am from india.

    your first line players i dont think so.

    yousuf when was the last time he hit a 50 in ODIS.

    you are talking about UMAR akmal who was out on nothing against south africa in 2 games. you are talking about ajmal who was dropped from team after his poor performance. asif first go and check his odi stats . kamran akmal no one are the first choice players. salman butt was dropped for 1-2 years because of his performance.

    and if thats the thing then i can say the reality that south africa missses their first choice players in many games.

    1-dale steyn having not played for months. 2-grame smith has not played odi series against india misses two matches against ppkaistan. 3-kallis misses one match against pakistan.

    but if i was like you then i will name all out of form player names and will say they are first choice players.

  • amirsidd on November 8, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    I would totally agree with the first comment. The article sounds like as if winning is the inherent right of teams like South Africa and others. That only if SA would have done well in the final over, they would have won. What about Pakistani middle order collapsed, what if in the 3rd match, it would have been a boundary instead of a single. What if list goes on and it can be easily argued in favor of Pakistan as well. It would have been nice that the writer would be gracious enough to write something positive about Pakistan players as well, but the arrogance . . .

  • on November 8, 2010, 2:31 GMT

    I realy wish best of luck my team (pakistan). even though we are playing our second choice line up we performed much better than south africans. imagine if aamer and asif were there to bowl with shoaib and gul and kamran akaml playing instead of zulqurnain and umer akmal in place of imran farhat than we would have won this series earlier when we lost by two runs. it will be great contest. It is a big match for pakistan because we never won the series against south africa. i remember last time in lahore we lost in fifth match but now i am sure we will won this time.

  • AtifButt on November 8, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    I think pakistan should have been 4-0 up. This south african team is totally unimpressive against a new second string pakistan team.

  • waqaslone on November 8, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    Pakistan is team one INDIVIDUALS with raw talent, but we are not as professional as other teams are. South Africa were favorites and it was just the Razzaq's enthusiastic innings which proved to be the inspiration and turning point in this series for Pakistan. For the Final no team is favorite but Pakistan needs to not let any chances go.

    I guess, Pakistan must stick with the same team combination, as, middle order also seems to be working well at the moment. Good Luck PAKISTAN!

  • yottiejohn on November 8, 2010, 1:25 GMT

    @le_stephenois unfortunately for you, the pakistani team is betting differently LOL

  • on November 8, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    4-0 up ? and that too " easily".. you gotta be kiddin..!! it should have 3-1 in favor of Pakistan..!

  • on November 7, 2010, 23:31 GMT

    they never say Pakistan batted well but they always say bowlers didnt bowl well.

  • le_stephenois on November 7, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    I disagree. I think Pakistan should have been 3-1 up at this stage. It was implosion in the 1st and 3rd ODI that cost us. If we don't implode again, we should be able to win this series. even with so many first choice players missing like, Butt, Kamran, Yousuf, Umar Akmal, Asif, Aamer, Gul and Ajmal, we are still better than this first choice South African team. I hope we are able to show our superior talent again.

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  • le_stephenois on November 7, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    I disagree. I think Pakistan should have been 3-1 up at this stage. It was implosion in the 1st and 3rd ODI that cost us. If we don't implode again, we should be able to win this series. even with so many first choice players missing like, Butt, Kamran, Yousuf, Umar Akmal, Asif, Aamer, Gul and Ajmal, we are still better than this first choice South African team. I hope we are able to show our superior talent again.

  • on November 7, 2010, 23:31 GMT

    they never say Pakistan batted well but they always say bowlers didnt bowl well.

  • on November 8, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    4-0 up ? and that too " easily".. you gotta be kiddin..!! it should have 3-1 in favor of Pakistan..!

  • yottiejohn on November 8, 2010, 1:25 GMT

    @le_stephenois unfortunately for you, the pakistani team is betting differently LOL

  • waqaslone on November 8, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    Pakistan is team one INDIVIDUALS with raw talent, but we are not as professional as other teams are. South Africa were favorites and it was just the Razzaq's enthusiastic innings which proved to be the inspiration and turning point in this series for Pakistan. For the Final no team is favorite but Pakistan needs to not let any chances go.

    I guess, Pakistan must stick with the same team combination, as, middle order also seems to be working well at the moment. Good Luck PAKISTAN!

  • AtifButt on November 8, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    I think pakistan should have been 4-0 up. This south african team is totally unimpressive against a new second string pakistan team.

  • on November 8, 2010, 2:31 GMT

    I realy wish best of luck my team (pakistan). even though we are playing our second choice line up we performed much better than south africans. imagine if aamer and asif were there to bowl with shoaib and gul and kamran akaml playing instead of zulqurnain and umer akmal in place of imran farhat than we would have won this series earlier when we lost by two runs. it will be great contest. It is a big match for pakistan because we never won the series against south africa. i remember last time in lahore we lost in fifth match but now i am sure we will won this time.

  • amirsidd on November 8, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    I would totally agree with the first comment. The article sounds like as if winning is the inherent right of teams like South Africa and others. That only if SA would have done well in the final over, they would have won. What about Pakistani middle order collapsed, what if in the 3rd match, it would have been a boundary instead of a single. What if list goes on and it can be easily argued in favor of Pakistan as well. It would have been nice that the writer would be gracious enough to write something positive about Pakistan players as well, but the arrogance . . .

  • on November 8, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    YOU know wat you are suffereing from a disease called " excuses". first of all i am not from south africa i am from india.

    your first line players i dont think so.

    yousuf when was the last time he hit a 50 in ODIS.

    you are talking about UMAR akmal who was out on nothing against south africa in 2 games. you are talking about ajmal who was dropped from team after his poor performance. asif first go and check his odi stats . kamran akmal no one are the first choice players. salman butt was dropped for 1-2 years because of his performance.

    and if thats the thing then i can say the reality that south africa missses their first choice players in many games.

    1-dale steyn having not played for months. 2-grame smith has not played odi series against india misses two matches against ppkaistan. 3-kallis misses one match against pakistan.

    but if i was like you then i will name all out of form player names and will say they are first choice players.

  • on November 8, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    if i was like you then my first line up players.

    1-david jacobs 2-herscheele gibbs 3-mark boucher 4-ntini(now retired) 5-charl langevledt(not played last game) 6smith(dont play two games) 7-rusty theoron 8-dale steyn(miss 3 games hasnt played for months)

    now 8 first choice players dont play for south africa .

    so grow up mate this is fact south africa till now would have wrapped the series if they have not commited small mistakes like smith dropping that no 10 batsmen in last game . and many more but as they said better here rather than in world cup.

    choose players on form and on that basis neither salman butt nor yousuff(in terrible form), kamran akmal(never in form batsmen) umar akmal(played two games was easily out) asif(not intersted in cricket ) gul he played 1 game completely ineffective because of injury(otherwise excelelnt) ajmal he was dropped

    atleast south africa is better giving chance to lot of new guyz and two of them clicked collin ingram