South Africa v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Centurion

Pakistan's chance to stamp authority

Firdose Moonda

November 29, 2013

Comments: 105 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Saturday, November 30, 2013
Centurion, 10.00 (08.00 GMT)


David Miller launches into a lofted shot, Sri Lanka v South Africa, 3rd ODI, Pallekele, July 26, 2013
David Miller will be expected to take up some of the slack left from the absence of Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis © AFP
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Big Picture

Usually once a series is won there is not much to get excited about but this is a little different. Pakistan, who have already racked up what their captain Misbah-ul-Haq called "a really big achievement" by beating South Africa for the first time in a bilateral series, stand to add to it. Victory at Centurion will make them only the second team to whitewash South Africa in an ODI series of three matches.

Although South Africa will be concerned with avoiding that fate, they also have the smaller picture to consider. While the Twenty20 side has found its rhythm, the ODI outfit cannot seem to do the same. Batting inconsistencies continue to work against them and even though one game cannot help them fix it, it may be an opportunity to solve some problems.

Without Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis, some of South Africa's next generation will be on display and with public speculation mounting about whether there is space for the two stalwarts in the set-up, this will be the chance to see. The middle-order focus will be on David Miller, who hasn't been his usual destructive self, with the bowling expected to perform as they have throughout the recent ODI matches.

Pakistan will also want batting improvements if there are to seize their chance for total domination. Even if their top-order fail again they will back their bowlers to make up for any lapses, as has been the case in the opening two rubbers.

Along with a South Africa revival, Pakistan's goal may be spoiled by afternoon thunderstorms which have come down all week and are forecast for Saturday. Should the heavens open again, it may put an early end to the series which is now in its sixth week of limited-overs clashes.

Form guide

(last five completed games most recent first)
Pakistan WWLLLW
South Africa LLWWW

In the spotlight

The promising start Henry Davids made to his international career unravelled in his last six T20s. He has only managed single-figure scores, appeared to be struggling on subcontinental surfaces and against quality spinners but was also asked to bat in the middle order, where he was more exposed. He has not played an ODI for South Africa yet, although he has the domestic record that suggests he should have, and it may be a chance to show he has what it takes to play at the highest level. On his home ground in a dead rubber, Davids will be faced with pleasant pressure although he may still bat outside of his preferred position in the top two.

Mohammad Hafeez has not contributed significantly with the bat in seven ODIs, all against South Africa, since his undefeated 136 against Zimbabwe. Without Dale Steyn in the opposition attack, Hafeez will fancy his chances of registering a worthwhile score and breaking a run drought against a team who has not been able to assert himself over with bat in hand.

Team news

South Africa are without three of their biggest names which will force them to make substantial alterations to their XI. Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis are out with injury niggles while Graeme Smith has been given compassionate leave after his grandmother died.

Quinton de Kock is an opener by trade and could replace Smith in the top two but because he has shown he can adjust to the No. 3 position as well, it may make allow Henry Davids to bat in his usual position as an opener. Vernon Philander will likely come back in for Steyn while Ryan McLaren and Wayne Parnell will have to fight it out for the allrounders' spot.

South Africa: (possible) 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Henry Davids, 3 Quinton de Kock (wkt) 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Wayne Parnell, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Lonwabo Tsoosbe, 11 Imran Tahir

Although changing a winning combination isn't the done thing, Pakistan may still have reason to make one change to their XI. With Nasir Jamshed continually misfiring and no Steyn to trouble Mohammad Hafeez early on, they could pair Hafeez with Ahmed Shehzad at the top and bring Umar Amin into the middle order to bolster the batting.

Pakistan: (possible) 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Sohaib Maqsood, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Umar Akmal (wkt), 7 Umar Amin, 7 Shahid Afridi, 9 Bilawal Bhatti, 9 Anwar Ali, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan

Stats and trivia

  • The last time South Africa lost all the matches scheduled in a one-day series was against Sri Lanka in 2004 when they were defeated 5-0 away from home. Before that, they were last swept in England in 1994.

  • Excluding series against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, Pakistan last swept a one-day series away from home in 2005, 3-0 against West Indies

    Quotes

    "There's a lot to play for. From an opportunity point of view, it's really good for the other guys to get a go. We know we've got India in a few days' time. To create winning momentum is going to be important for us."
    Despite the match's dead-rubber status Hashim Amla found a reason for South Africa to treat the fixture with the same intensity as any other.

  • Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

    RSS Feeds: Firdose Moonda

    © ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

    Posted by LionsofLanka on (November 30, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

    By the way no Styen, no morkel but still PAK lose their only scoring batsmen of the series is out for big Duck. Pak 2 for 1 in first over. Hero of last match Shehzad out for duck...............

    Posted by LionsofLanka on (November 30, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

    Those who have short memories about ZIMBABWE tour most recently, LIONS are coming in UAE for their remembrance. Coz Lions won't spare any mercy or charity on others. They are truly professional. Hope some fans would understand better about consistency factor. So that they would remove the word "UNPREDICTABILITY" from their dictionary.

    Posted by wapuser on (November 30, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

    Best of Luck Pakistan, what a team! Unpredictable :)

    Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

    @blade runners. u r a perfect example of wishful thinking. we shall see who is mediocre and whose not

    Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

    i hope Pakistan will white wash South Africa in their home.

    Posted by wapuser on (November 30, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

    It is a good come back of Pak team under the pressure Circumstances and am cent percent sure tht they will clinch the series by 3-Nil and the white wash is confirm for hosts......

    Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

    Hope its a White-Wash not a Rain-Wash !!!

    Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

    asad shud be given a chance instead of amin. also beleive me sohail tanveer is not a bowler

    Posted by shahrukhjawed on (November 30, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

    give chance to new BOOM BOOM Kamran Ghulam, he is only 18 years old

    Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

    On 2nd ODI SA was on a pressure to save the series but it could't work for them and on 3rd ODI pressure will also more on SA fro escaping clean wash from the series. Best of Luck for PAK Team ;)

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