Nel may miss entire series
While Pakistan are boosted by a successful batting display in the second match, South Africa have been hit with the news that fast bowler Andre Nel will not play the third one-day international at Port Elizabeth and may miss the rest of the series.
South African coach Mickey Arthur said everyone in his squad, with the exception of Nel, was available for the match. "Andre had a freak accident after the match in Durban. He opened the fridge and a bottle fell on his foot. He was not wearing shoes and was cut on the foot," he told reporters in the wake of Wednesday's heavy defeat at Kingsmead that left the series tied at 1-1 with three matches left. "The stitches will have to remain in for about a week but he may play again later in the series."
While Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, was wary of a South African backlash and called on his side to maintain their form, Arthur expressed his disappointment after the last defeat. "The defeat made us take another look at ourselves; where we should be and where we are going," he said. "They [Pakistan] put us under pressure and we were unable to turn things around. It was similar to the first match when we had them under pressure. We are looking at two very good teams here; second and third best in the world. Pakistan are dangerous and the series has become very interesting."
Arthur felt South Africa had done badly in all departments. "This was not our normal standard. We have lost only three of our 12 matches this summer. It's an outstanding record," he said. "I am glad that a performance such as that one is now behind us. But it can happen again. I don't want it to happen in the World Cup tournament," Arthur added.
Both teams took it easy the day before the match, giving several players time to recover from minor injuries. Pakistan did not practise at all and the South Africans had an unofficial session. It is expected that Robin Peterson, the left-arm spinner, will return for the match on his provincial home ground.
South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (capt), AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Herschelle Gibbs, Ashwell Prince, Justin Kemp, Mark Boucher (wk), Shaun Pollock, Robin Peterson, Makhaya Ntini, Andrew Hall, Charl Langeveldt, Roger Telemachus, Loots Bosman.
Pakistan (from): Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Younis Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Imran Nazir, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved ul-Hasan, Mohammad Asif, Abdur Rehman, Mohammad Sami, Azhar Mahmood.