South Africa v Pakistan, 1st Twenty20, Durban

Teams start even in new format

The Preview by Firdose Moonda

February 28, 2013

Comments: 94 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts

March 1, 2013
Start time 1800 local (1600GMT)

Mohammad Hafeez was out to a glance down the leg side, South Africa v Pakistan, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 3rd day, February 3, 2013
Mohammad Hafeez will hope to leave behind his lacklustre performance in the Test series © Associated Press
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Big Picture

South Africa's summer of Test cricket is over but the sunshine and good times are not. Another three weeks of activity awaits and it is up to the limited-overs formats to turn what has been a one-sided series into a competitive, two-way street.

The balance has definitely tipped. It is no longer a No.1 ranked team in conditions that suit them up against a side determined to prove something. Both South Africa and Pakistan hover in the middle of the Twenty20 rankings at the moment. While South Africa have never tasted the success of a major trophy, Pakistan have and were responsible for dumping South Africa out of the 2009 World Twenty20 - which they went on to win - and beating them in both other meetings at a major tournament.

That fact sums up the difference between the two teams' approaches to limited-overs cricket. Pakistan have won when it matters, South Africa have when it doesn't. Add that to the hosts' current state of transition and Pakistan will see an opportunity to strike. They have with them a wealth of experience headed by Shahid Afridi while South Africa's young squad includes only four Test regulars.

In essence, this is a clash between a team still experimenting with the format and one that has never had the same urgency to master it because they thrive in unpredictability. Pakistan can be expected to bring every element of themselves that has made the world fall in love with cricket over and over again: the late batting-order revival, the surprise wickets, the picture-perfect catch. If all those elements combine perfectly, it will make for good viewing.

South Africa have promised to be more clinical, a suggestion that hints at no more floating batting line-up and miscalculations over who will bowl at the death. Given their haphazard approach to the shortest format, that shows they are taking it more seriously. The key will be not to be too rigid.

It's set up to be a contest of Pakistan's ability to light flames versus South Africa's new cool and supposedly inflammable nature. What a thrill it would be if the series sets on fire.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
South Africa: WLWLL
Pakistan: LWLWL

In the Spotlight:

Although Faf du Plessis led the team with aplomb in their three-match series against New Zealand late last year, he was merely a stand-in then. Now, he is officially the permanent captain of the team and that will bring different pressure. Du Plessis has already shown he has the maturity to deal with being one of the senior-most batsmen in the XI and leading it and with a young squad under his command, the need for him to continue in that vein will be even more pressing.

His opposite number Mohammed Hafeez will also be under the microscope but for individual reasons. Hafeez was dismal with bat in hand in the Test series but now returns to the format where he has enjoyed much success. He does not have a red ball or Dale Steyn to worry about and Pakistan will be looking to him to kickstart some success for them on a tour that has so far brought only struggle.

Team news:

In yet another shift in roles for AB de Villiers, the former captain will now open the batting and keep wickets. That probably means no space for young Quinton de Kock who had gloves in hand for the matches against New Zealand and batted at No.3. New leader du Plessis will bat out of his preferred position (the top two), but will most likely come in at No.3. Chris Morris will likely slot in the lower middle-order, which will leave Rory Kleinveldt, Kyle Abbott and Ryan McLaren to fight for two spots if Lonwabo Tsotsobe plays. Aaron Phangiso may miss out to Robin Peterson in the spinner's role.

South Africa: (probable) 1 AB de Villiers (wk), 2 Henry Davids, 3 Faf du Plessis (capt), 4 Justin Ontong, 5 David Miller, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 and 10 Rory Kleinveldt/Kyle Abbott/Ryan McLaren, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Pakistan welcome back a galaxy of stars, with their brightest being Afridi. If the mercurial all-rounder brings his best side, it will be an immediate boost to them. The Akmal brothers, with Kamran likely to keep, are also back. Junaid Khan has recovered from the thigh wound which kept him out of the last two Tests, and is available for selection.

Pakistan: (probable) 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammed Hafeez (capt), 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Kamran Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi, 8, Wahab Riaz/Juniad Khan 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Mohammed Irfan

Stats and Trivia:

  • Only one point separates these two teams on the rankings. South Africa are at No.5 and Pakistan No.6
  • The longest winning streak enjoyed by both South Africa and Pakistan is seven matches. South Africa's was between March and June 2009 and Pakistan's in the same year between June and November.
  • The teams have played each other six times in T20s, with each side winning three. Their last encounter was at the World Twenty20 in September last year, which Pakistan won.


"We are practising skills now that we want to be better at in six to ten games time. It's not going to happen now because we don't have a lot of time together as a T20 squad."
South Africa's new captain Faf du Plessis is looking to the future as he takes charge of the national side

"We are really missing crowd support because we don't play cricket at home. If we can get some support, it will be good."
Mohammed Hafeez hopes to tap into the sub-continental heritage of Durban and swing the fans his team's way

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

RSS Feeds: Firdose Moonda

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

"Alas I was eagerly waiting for this game but the rain has wiped out all the excitement......But i believe that Pakistan has fair chance to deliver some good ckt in this series!!!"But it is quiet intresting to see whether Afridi's inclusion in the team will prove some betterment for the team or not!"

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

can't wait for this T20 Pak must come back strongly to beat SA,

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Pakistan is favorite and will win inshallah

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 15:17 GMT)

Faf was a stand-out performer in the IPL. And, looks like a potential short format great! He has guts and gumption. He will certainly energise the fielding, by setting personal example. Good move by SA in trying him out at captaincy.

Smith is not getting any younger or better. AB is good, but looks it's too much for him to handle both wicket keeping & captaincy. Look at Sanga, the moment they found a good WK, he surrendered wicket keeping to focus on Captaincy ( What keeps on happening to captaincy in SL is another matter)

Posted by Solid_Snake on (March 1, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

@greenydude:How many chances Imran Nazir got? He was given chance in whole WC T20 but he failed.Every time throwing away his wicket.Plays silly shots.Too easy to trap him.He is just another form of Afridi.We cannot afford more than one Afridi type batsmen in the team

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

Different format, different captains but the result will be same.....Victory for SA.

Posted by Aizikhan on (March 1, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

The only reason I'm heading to this T20 is , Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan ! We have already seen tons of Charm from Afridi and akmal brothers !

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

@xylofon- As an Indian , I always consider Umar Akmal as one of the major threat to us , hes amazing player and its delight to see him playing , but most of the time he always find a way to ruin a good start , But in his good 30-40 runs and some 60-70 runs inning he shows that if PCB give him a confidence , He can be a core player in future

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (March 1, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

Having had 3 weeks of baking sunshine in Durban, tell you what, its been drizzling for the good part 16 hours. Another chance to see the #1 test team in action looking highly unlikely for me. Anyway, its just that silly T20 thing. Obsession in this format is what is killing Indian,Pakistan,Srilankan and (Australian) cricket of late. These teams have good potential but its hugely hampered by introducing young cricketers to this hit an giggle stuff early on in their careers. Im actually gratefull that De Kock is not part of the t20 squad as I see him as a huge role player in the future SA test team.The less t20 he plays the better. Good e.g Faf has settled well in the test arena because of not having played alot of t20 cricket before his test debut. Oppiste to that we have Raina and Rohit Sharma of India who have done the opposite.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

Hope that the Pakistan have psychologically recovered from the Test series battering -scars left have sufficiently healed. Induction of players past their best does not augur well for future. Upcoming talent should have been given their fair chance !

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

Pakistan have a good chance to win T20 and ODI series.

Posted by greenydude on (March 1, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

Though Afridi hasnt performed well in recent matches .. i dont see a reason of dropping him in ODIS and T20's thing afridi posses is the"CHARISMA" which rest of the pakistani players lack .. and with afridi some things are bound to happen.. unlike some other players .. i will like to see him in every ODIS and T20's..

Posted by xylofon on (March 1, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

I dont see any room for Umar Akmal ever again. I do not understand why PCB would ever consider him.

Hammad Azam must be given the chance very soon - Pakistan need to test him and if things work out groom him in T20´s every chance they get.

Anwar Ali is another name, perfect for T20 and attacking batsman.

Babar Azam is the best batsman in Pakistan (MARK MY WORDS PEOPLE) and shouldve been picked for ODI & Test - in test he would have done it all himself, Pakistan will never lose a test match with him involved. Simple as that. The tyrannosaurs rex of batting.

Fawad Alam is being wasted. The batsman with the highest average is not playing the test or ODI - a complete mystery.

Posted by greenydude on (March 1, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

I just cant understand why is pakistan wasting talents of imran nazir and abdul razzak ..

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

Very good article.. Nice write-up!! :)

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

Selecting AFRIDI for today's match may have only one reason.i.e. Today's his birthday:)

Posted by uzairamir on (March 1, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

pakistan should play wahab riaz or any new bowler instead of umar gul and build him because i think umar gul is on the verge of being dropped

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

someone has any logical answer for selecting AFRIDI for today match?

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

As far as pakistan batting line concerns, My X| is Hafeez, Jamshed, Asad, Younus, Malik, Afridi, Kamran, Saeed, Gul, Wahab, Adil.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

I think today's match is going to be interesting and if Pakistan want to win this game so all players must contribute because South Africa is not an easy team.Good luck for both teams.

Posted by viking_legend on (March 1, 2013, 11:04 GMT)

OMW Ontong is in the team! They also persisting with Behardien. Play De Kock, Wisse, Ingram instead. Hell play Levi instead of Ontong and Behardien. I hope that least Abbott gets picked ahead of Klienveldt and Mclaren.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

hafeez should perform well with the bat may be change his batting number malik afridi all will have to perform

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (March 1, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

i would rather put asad shafeeq in middle order than malik. kamran akmal is best suited as an opener. gul will b disappointment again.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

PAK should win 20/20 and oneday games to level the things

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

Pakistan team have bats men specialist for limited over format, they dont have test ability except younus khan who has experience and calm behavior matches the test format, so the team pakistan no need to worry about and just to pick right shot at right time as jamshed nasir did in asia cup.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

CAn anyone tell me 100% confirmed playing 11 of South AFrica for Today Match ???

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

A keen observer of cricket can observe that Afridi has one unique ability of rotating the strike well... If he is in the mood of playing long innings, he without wasting balls can maneuver the strike well... When ever he plays his first 10,11 balls with patience, he goes on to make 30+... Pakistan actually requires the same...IF Pak bats first, he should be given the chance at number 3... He can be the one who will take the team till end....He seems hopeless when he picks the first ball in the air and this happens usually when he comes post 15th over...Give him the chance at 7,8th over and he can produce decent batting.

Posted by PureProteas49 on (March 1, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

loving all the wishful thinking comments here, have you forgotten how we sorted pak in the limited overs in the uae, lots of moisture about and we know what that means for pak, 2-0 defeat in the T20'S, if you couldnt handle our decks in the tests, what do you think you can do tonight, bring it on

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (March 1, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

@ counterstrike1.6: I agree, Gayle certainly hits the ball harder than Afridi. M.S. Dhoni, Shane Watson, Keiron Pollard and Brendon McCullum would also be up there. Afridi? Perhaps after these gentlemen.

Among cricketers not currently playing, I'd vote for Andrew Symonds, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and Andy Flintoff being harder strikers of the cricket ball than Boom Boom.

Or maybe this feeling is because we don't get to see all that much of Afridi (considering how low down the order he bats, and of course how few deliveries he tends to last).

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

@kingsland: are you serious? No ajmal in odi/t20 as they have afridi/malik? i think instead of afridi they need good solid batting allrounder. Same goes with malik. instead of taking out a good bowler like ajmal for 50-50 like afridi.

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (March 1, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

@ Dil-Dil-Pakistan

"The Hardest Striker Of The Ball History Has Ever Produce He Holds Many Record in Crkt."

No offence to anyone but there are many batsmen who hit ball harder than Afridi. And Gayle probably tops the list NOT Afridi who hits only off-spinners and slow-bowlers. But yeah Afridi is Entertainer and we need Entertainers too to keep Cricket spicy !

Posted by vak1997 on (March 1, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

de Villiers isn't a good opener. Faf can open, de Villiers is a good finisher...

Posted by warneneverchuck on (March 1, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

@ dilpalistan. Afridi can't even survive one over of SA pacers. But I agree with u he is hardest hitting batsman when it comes to hitting one or two balls. I dontt know y he afraid to play test cricket though

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

And so the hit and giggle cricket commences today, leaving real cricket behind. Thank goodness there will be Super 15 rugby on the go this evening, which means I do not have to be tortured by being "forced" to watch this pyjama cricket! I have tried to "get into" this T20 format but cannot find myself being even vaguely intrigued! Should be a good "series", let us see what happens. Well, catch the highlight package afterwards in any event!

Posted by SherjilIslam on (March 1, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

No matter. who cares in the lottery format of the game, SA have already won the real matches(read Tests series).Pakistan can still restore some pride by winning the ODI series,for which they still need to bat out full 50 over.

Posted by mzm149 on (March 1, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

100% confirmed team for Pakistan today: 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammed Hafeez (capt), 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Kamran Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi, 8, Juniad Khan, 9 Asad Ali, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Mohammed Irfan

Posted by Testcricketistop on (March 1, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

Good luck to Pakistan, and of course to the Proteas as well.

Posted by Dil-Dil-Pakistan on (March 1, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

On This Day in 1980: Shahid Afridi - Pakistan's most flamboyant cricketer was born. Can he inspire Pakistan today?The Hardest Striker Of The Ball History Has Ever Produce He Holds Many Record in Crkt.

Posted by Ibrarhunzai on (March 1, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

The probable team is the best available team for Pakistan. Predicted result would be 1-1 for t20's and 3-2 win for south africa in the odi's..

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

Pakistan can be expected to bring every element of themselves that has made the world fall in love with cricket over and over again - they will make world fall in ..IA.. hafeez z very ordinary captain we need sm 1 IK nd SK to be at the top ... sighhhhhhh

Posted by SamRoy on (March 1, 2013, 4:20 GMT)

"In essence, this is a clash between a team still experimenting with the format and one that has never had the same urgency to master it because they thrive in unpredictability"---That's not right. Pakistan is the best performing team in World T20. One win in 2009, one final loss in 2007, two semi-final losses in 2010 and 2012. The best record of all teams. Compare it to SA, who have never reached a single semi-final. Give credit where it is due. Oh, I am an Indian btw.

Posted by mazdonal on (March 1, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

They can forget about improving in playing Tests. All they do at home is play 20 20 and some OD matches. They are NEVER going to have any Test matches at home and thei big stadia are going to go the way of the old Olympic Stadia at Athens, which are being used for grazing cattle. Add that to favouritism and gross incompetence and you have a dismal prospect.

Posted by ZafarPasha on (March 1, 2013, 1:25 GMT)

Pakistan is once again banking on old horses. whether the horse are for the courses has to be seen. The only plus point for Pakistan is their bowling. If they contain RSA to a manageable sore, Pak can win. I do not know why the selectors are still persisting with Shoaib Malik. We certainly have some one on the wings to replace him. Let us see if he can deliver on RSA pitches. It could be the last tour for Afridi if he fails, which Pakistan cannot afford. Let us hope for the best.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 1:08 GMT)

I think South Africa is a bowler short which makes both the teams even for tomorrow.

Posted by PakoP on (February 28, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

Abdul Razzaq will be missed.

Good luck both teams

Posted by Crick_Expert on (February 28, 2013, 23:39 GMT)

I don't think PAK TEAM needs Saeed Ajmal for T20/ODI. There are already have 3 spinners allrounder etc. Hafeez, Afridi, Malik...To cover batting weakness They should add two more batsmen.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 28, 2013, 22:48 GMT)

Looking forward to Behardien playing out masses of dot balls as usual. Sigh.

Posted by jhabib on (February 28, 2013, 22:24 GMT)

I don't see Pakistan doing well in the ODIs at all. T20s, may be. It's hard to say this but Pakistan will continue with their poor showing from the tests. 50 overs are way too many for Pakistani batsmen.

Posted by t20cric on (February 28, 2013, 21:53 GMT)

Stop being so hard on Hafeez just cuz he played bad in tests doesn't mean he will play bad here. Remember that Hafeez played so well in India that he became the best T20 allrounder and is currently the 2nd best. Anyways I don't see Steyn anywhere in the SA side so HAfeez has a chance cuz he almost always lost his wicket to Steyn. I'm hoping for Junaid Khan to play instead of Riaz and maybe see a repeat of what Junaid and Mohammed Irfan did to India in December. For Afridi he has to justify the reason why the selector's picked him cuz in another report on cricinfo they say that they are expecting good bowling from him so hopefully he shows that. Picking the Akmals I think is a good decision cuz they are atleast better than Sarfaraz Ahmed. Also I hope Gul can bowl as good as he is supposed to. If we are giving other players chances then why not Gul, but there must be some pressure on Gul to prepare well. He should get to play in the first T20 but should be replaced by Riaz if he doen't

Posted by haq33 on (February 28, 2013, 21:29 GMT)

Tragic to see such emphasis on ltd overs cricket by Pakistani fans when the real show is already over. Actually RSA are favourites anyway. A moving white ball is still a moving ball and an edge is still an edge. RSA will win tomorrow unless our bowlers can do the usual expected miracle job. Pakistan need this debacle of a tour to finish so they can go home. Pakistan also need an end to corruption in national selection, so that those with talent actually make the final XI for future tests. Lastly, these batsmen need to learn to leave the ball alone when it is swinging!!! Look at the shameful way we treated M Yousaf, the one man who could have taught us how to face this chronic problem. He has served Pak selflessly and we hung him out to dry. All the new generation wants is to bash 6's in ltd overs games.....there is no future for our batsmen.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 28, 2013, 21:26 GMT)

Pakistan always lacked selectors with a sensible head on their shoulders. They left Abdul Razaq out of the team but selected Afridi knowing that Razzaq is a wonderful batsman of fast bowling. Razaq is a canny medium pacer who has never disappointed us with his bowling either. In Pakistan, it is all about personal liking. Shame

Posted by Desihungama on (February 28, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

It really doesn't matter what Pakistan does or does not do in limited overs game. The real cricket is Test cricket and we all witnessed their flailing. Enigma with Pakistan cricket is not the spirited fight they show when cornered but this giving up attitude when things are not going their way, lack of preparation from PCB, staff and players along with no vision less authorities at the helm of affairs. What the heck they were thinking playing in India right before the series?

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

Pakistan lack a medium pace batting allrounder. Afridi the bowler should not have been selected but he is in team so can't keep him out. Msy be last chance. He maybebe good spining bowling option but not where you need 3 fast bowlers. With him only as bowler in paks tail will be 5 man long.

Team may be pretty much same as written in oost. Hafeez should come down the order and kamran up. ahmed, kamran, nasir, hafees, umar, malik, afridi, gul/riaz, junaid, ajmal irfan

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (February 28, 2013, 20:54 GMT)

PAK will easily win these series (T20 and ODI), this is a given. SA dont put the effort or personnel into the shorter format of the game and also seem reluctant to try new and upcoming talent. So its always the usual average suspects (parnell, kleinveld, mcClaren) who will get put to the sword by Pakistan.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 20:04 GMT)

I dont understand the criteria pakistan cricket board and team selectors are following. what does they want from Shoaib Malik and other old folks. Come on you have a long queue of shining stars waiting on their turn. For god's sake give them a chance and stop trying again and again those who have failed hundreds of times.

Posted by kc69 on (February 28, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

Well SA team looks young and fresh...but i wonder why not Dale Steyn picked up in playing 11 for this format?..But for Pakistan it looks the best possible playing 11 the only thing that saperates both the teams is morale(Especially for Mohammed Hafeez-capt due to poor test series).Anyways it will be a great contest which i predict it might get even(1-1)for the 2 matches.Pakistan needs to watch out for Farhaan Behardien and du Plesis.

Posted by Stark62 on (February 28, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

I don't want to see Malik or Amin anywhere near the squad, let alone the playing 11 but I guess there is no other choice.

It begs the question, where is Harris Sohail and Naved Yasin?!?! Both have performed exceptionally well in FC cricket and are tailor-made for the limited format but yet, they are neglected due to favouritism.

I hope they play this 11: Shezhad, Nasir, Hafeez, Umar, Kamran, Malik (no other choice), Afridi, Junaid, Ajmal, Irfan and Asad. Enough of Gul!!

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

Quinton de Kock with a blistering hundredr recently became the highest run scorer in South Africa in domestic T20s and he can relieve AB with the gloves. Hes already played and done pretty well. I find it really bizarre that he's not picked.

Good idea to open with AB but give De Kock the gloves for limited overs games - it gives him international exposure and lets AB focus on batting and captaincy.

Posted by shahzadparacha on (February 28, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

So finally we are going to witness two evenly matched sides. I think Pakistan will bounce back from their test series debacle in this limited overs series.

Bowling will again be the Key for Pakistan.

I am going for 1-1 draw in the T20 series.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

I don't wamnt to see Umar Gul in the team. Junaid khan, wahab riaz and mohammad irfan will just do the job for us.

Posted by neo-galactico on (February 28, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

T20 and poetry? That's a new one to me. Seeing a couple of brutes slog and flog the ball to the boundary without much technique isn't my idea of poetry. But I guess it's "different strokes for different folk". It also shows the different mentality subcontinent teams have as opposed to the western world which view Test Cricket as the pinnacle and don't take T20 in particular not so seriously. SA hasn't won a trophy (expect Champion's Trophy ) but I'm certainly not losing sleep over it even if it can be disappointing watching them fail in tournaments.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

Good Luck to both teams.

Look at SA's probables. Such an inexperienced team. Most of the guys are young. Despite this if Pak team which is full strength and claim to be Master of this meaningless format of the game, doesn't win, it should be a matter of shame for all pak Cricketers and fans. Image at stake for Pakistan after getting WHITE-WASHED and HUMILIATED in test series.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 17:20 GMT)

Ugh, mickey mouse cricket ... could have had another test match aka real cricket.

Posted by FighterKallis on (February 28, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

southafrica do some grave mistakes when comes to shorter formats. De cock is fantastic . Ab is trying for more command here .Ok but cock is fine for both batting and keeping. Atleast he can be there for batting. I don't have faith on behardien. Devillers should open .This is late decision.

Posted by Hira1 on (February 28, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

kamran akmal should open, he doesn't do well when he come down the order, I hope Pak bat positively from the start and don't wait for last 5-7 overs, since there is no Abdul Razzak now and afridi not the best of his form, scoring at 10-12 an over at the depth is very unlikely.

Posted by waheedkhansherwani on (February 28, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

yorkers had not been tried in this series ,are these not effective?

Posted by neo-galactico on (February 28, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

A new format and a greater chance towards parity in a format more suited to the visitors than the experimental hosts. In fact I expect the Pakistanis to win against this meek SA side but they shouldn't fall to the trap of scoring fast early on in their innings because it still will swing for the part of the innings. And I'm kinda chuffed not to see Ingram there he is talented but just hasn't moved up to this level and really missing JP to strengthen the middle order. Not a big fan of the One Day stuff but still hoping for a exciting and close series

Posted by CricFanster on (February 28, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

Rotation Policy might hurt Saffas in this series but it can be helpful in future as they ll have a good look at the talented prospects to make it big in T20 format which haven't been their cup of cake since the inaugural T20 World Cup held in their own Backyard.

Posted by CricFanster on (February 28, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

Its 60-40 in favor of PAK because they are totally different team in this format than TEST Cricket and the other fact in their favor is that SA is fielding a Young Team in 20-20 lately with just couple of exceptions. PAK should look to impove in Batting as they have some attacking batsmen in the mix and they should not rely on Ajmal alone because it ll be too much burden for the poor guy then to carry his team in all 3 formats . Umar Akmal should Bat @ 4 as suggested in the preview because he needs some time rather than hitting & missing at the death . Afridi is not the same as he was in 2009 specially if he has a bad spell with a ball then it makes him a passenger on the team because of his Batting display lately . Umar Gul should be given a last chance to prove himself in this series as he's been disappointing lately.... But if AB Develiers stays on the wicket for good 7-8 overs then it ll be hard for Pak to control the scoring rate cuz he can innovate & play proper cricket !

Posted by Cricinforma on (February 28, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

Mr Hafeez should definately be in the limited overs side for two reason, batting and bowling. M.Hafeez try and hit that ball tomorrow out of the park. Marhaban Shahid Afridi, one of a kind Pathan Power, when he hits the ball it stays hit, dont bother fetching it. Umar akmal, the crowd would appreciate watching you display your talent. Junaid swing that ball tomorrow and you will create doubts in teh batsmen minds.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

pakistan will surely win t20 and odi series. south africas rotation policy is gon'g cost them

Posted by RHARKI on (February 28, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

The review is a beautiful piece of artistic flowery literature more than a cricket match preview :) ... but that's how T20 was also envisioned to be! Suits the occasion :)

Posted by DGIFT on (February 28, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

Du Plessis Should Open and Ab in at 3 Great Batting depth nonetheless Pak will again struggle i sense

Posted by dreampk on (February 28, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

The same Team i suggested as in the previous preview .i believe no place for wahab riaz if junaid khan is fit or you can drop gul for wahab riaz but wil take a bold heart to do that.

Posted by BattosaiXX on (February 28, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Why Malik and Kamran back in the team? Let Umar Akmal keep as his batting alone cant justify his selection. Need to add Haris sohail and Asad Shafiq. I think Ahmed Shahzad have gotten enough chances too.

Posted by uzairamir on (February 28, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

@Farrukh.91. if pakistan go for a 4 spin attack they will get thrashed all over the park.South african wickets dont give support for spinners hence you should play 3 or more fast bowlers

Posted by Manu_reddy on (February 28, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

All pakisthanis were giving great praises to hafeez after d india series but now after 1 poor series they started to criticize him n asking for his head in test team but d fact is like some of d asian batsmen he cant do well only on pitches with pace n swing n in d same way many non asian batsmen wont succeed in asian pitches which favour spin so its really bad to rate d batsmen based on his performance in d conditions which r known to him...

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 28, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Misbahism has become viral. Even Pakistani fans are now supporting the idea of 3 to 4 spinners. South Africa is the land of fast bowlers and my dear Pakistani fellows want to see more spinners. You guys need to realize that South Africans play spin well. It's the English and the Australians who find it difficult to play spin. So even a thought of playing 3 to 4 spinners should have been spared for those sides on spin friendly pitches. But hey, it's a free world, we've all got our opinions, whether right or wrong.

Posted by voyager on (February 28, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

Some people are really harsh in criticising Hafeez. I think that is unjustified, while he just had a miserable test series but his 'bits' and 'pieces' has been instrumental in Pakistan success and respect in last 2.5 years. He along with Misbah, Ajmal, Younis, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Afridi has been instrumental in bringing respect back to Pakistan's cricket both interms of results and behavior.

Posted by i-s-r-a-r on (February 28, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

Wow, i have barely seen 8 of the 11 players playing for south africa. I highly doubt they can stand upto pakistan. And this is coming from a saf fan who generally watch test cricket and hence my unfamiliarity with the team. I like the move about putting devilliers at the opening. He is suh a talent that the longer he gets to play in an innings the better. But middleorder definitely looks very weak and the bowling department also.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

I think docock should included in the team. there is no place of behardeen. in the pakistan side shezdad should drop & amin inlude.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

If Du Plessis favors opening, why doesn't he open instead of De Villiers?

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

Hafeez and Malik are spent forces and should only be playing club cricket. They should be replaced by the likes of Harris Sohail and Hammad Azam. Gul needs to be shown the door and in his place bring Anwar Ali who is constantly performing but does not know anybody in PCB probably. This would be my line up 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Harris Sohail, 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Hammad Azam 6 Kamran Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi, 8, Anwar Ali, 9, Juniad Khan 9 Sadaf Hussain10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Mohammed Irfan - But again this is for those selectors who are working for the good cause of cricket.....we cannot expect such move from current PCB can we.............

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 28, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

Come on people, why are you guys criticizing Hafeez? Yes, he has been poor in Tests but T20 and ODIs are different formats. The white ball doesn't swing that much plus Steyn isn't as lethal in these formats as he is in the Tests. Hafeez has been good in these formats and deserves to stay. Not long ago, the same fans were idolizing Hafeez for his performance in India. You compare performances of T20 with past T20 performances (which are good) and not with Tests.

Posted by Farrukh.91. on (February 28, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

Pakistan should go with a 4 spinner attack as they went in the T20 world cup in SL against South africa.

Posted by Hassan_U on (February 28, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

Hafeez shouldn't be in the playing eleven let alone leading the side. He has long been bits and pieces player and done well to hold his place. Poor batting avg says it all. Malik was far better when he was leading the T20 side.

Posted by Nuxxy on (February 28, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

Agreed, bestbuddy. Forget about de Kock as a keeper - that's gravy - he should be there for his batting. I hope it's just to give him a little time to grow older, and they don't chronically misuse him, like they have David Miller.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 28, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

Pakistan can't afford to play Afridi at the moment. They need to play a lineup which has more chances of performing. This is my T20 lineup : 1)Jamshed, 2) Shahzad, 3)Hafeez, 4)U.Akmal, 5) U.Amin, 6) Malik, 7) K.Akmal, 8) Riaz, 9) Ajmal, 10) Junaid Khan and 11) Irfan. Please no Umar Gul in the team. His performances in all the formats have not been up to the mark. Afridi too just can't walk in the team when he likes. They are other players who've worked hard on their game and deserve a go ahead of him. Afridi for now, should only build team morale, encourage the playing 11 and share his experience.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

If Pakistan want to come back they have to do different things.1- They should start aggressively in power play while batting.If they field first there aim should be to get early brake through.They can start with fast bowler at one end and spinner at other end. Fielding and catching must't be at their best. Every player has to contribute. Captain Hafiz should come down the order if we get good opening partnership.My playing eleven will be Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal, Umer Akmal, Hafiz,Shoaib Malik ,Afridi,A.rehman,Wahab Riaz,Junaid khan,Umer Gul,Saeed Ajmal.

Posted by Dark.Matter on (February 28, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

@CricketMaan, There are two reasons for that...A) IPL type leagues are not the same standards as the teams have when they play international t20. B) You already mentioned leadership problem. They always try to play safe.

Posted by CricketMaan on (February 28, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

Its Amazing, you see SA stars are more or less the reason why IPL teams do gr8, but yout put them in one basked, these stars fail. Look what AB did to RCB, Faf to CSK, Dale n JP in DC, JK in KKR or Morne to DD..these are IPL champs but fail to replicate as a team. Is it a leadership problem that SA suffers in shorter format? I fear something must have gone wrong with Albie, for he is kept out of this format. Injury cannot be the only reason! Any i thought Gulam Bodi was too good in CLT20!

Posted by SohailMirza on (February 28, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

Hafeez is the biggest waste and should have been kicked out earlier. To me Hafeez can play as bowler only but as a batsman there is no place for him. or else if you want to see him as batsman then only give him chance in Asian pitches.

tomorrow squad should be

Jamshed, Afridi, Umar, Kamran, Shoaib, Ahmad shahzad, junaid, umar saeed, irfan and wahab

Posted by bestbuddy on (February 28, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

Huh? Someone please tell me how nNtong and Behardien can be considered better t20 batsmen than de Kock (or prospects, as both are more than , who recently scored 120* in a domestic game against a bowling attack featuring 3 current or former SA players? And why is de Villiers back keeping when he has a chronic back problem - he should be giving it over to another whenever he can. Add to that he is now batting in a position he has not filled in 5 years at any level for any team?? Some odd selections here

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