South Africa v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Bloemfontein March 9, 2013

Champions Trophy the focus for both teams

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Match Facts

March 10, 2013
Start time 1000 local (0800 GMT)

Big Picture

It is three months away but the Champions Trophy will be the main focus for both teams because this is the last competitive cricket they will play together before the tournament in England. Pakistan's emphasis may not be as great. They have held ICC silverware aloft before and are not obsessed with the same levels of pre-planning as South Africa are.

They also seem to approach isolated series as exactly that: contests that should be won not test-tubes that should be toyed with. Accordingly, their concerns are not with combinations or building but with winning and, if whispers are to be believed, unifying what is becoming a divided unit.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammed Hafeez are reportedly at loggerheads, although team management denies this. Infighting in the leadership core will not be good for team morale but Pakistan do not appear to be down at all. Instead, the lure of winning another trophy is more than enough motivation, especially with the knowledge that their opposition is vulnerable.

By their own admission, South Africa's focus has not been on the shorter versions in the last year. While the Test team climbed to No.1, the ODI and Twenty20 sides were left to experiment. That phase is now over but they are far from settled as a unit.

This series is their only opportunity to change that before they embark on a quest for multi-team tournament glory. They have, at least, decided on a strategy. AB de Villiers has been installed as permanent wicket-keeper, will continue as captain and will play a role in the middle order, which is the biggest concern.

Their opening combination is experienced as are most of their bowling options but the notoriously soft middle is where the series will be won or lost. While South Africa attempt to harden it up, Pakistan will target that area and if they hit, the hosts could end the home summer without an ODI trophy in their cabinet.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
South Africa: WLLWL
Pakistan: LWWLW

In the Spotlight:

Dale Steyn will not play in the first match because he is still in Los Angeles with his girlfriend and is only available from the second fixture. Morne Morkel is unlikely to feature as well because he has not fully recovered from the hamstring injury which kept him out of the third Test and the Twenty20 series. It will be Lonwabo Tsotsobe's job to lead the attack. The left-armer looks decidedly leaner and meaner than he was a few months ago and bowled with good variation, especially in his first two overs of the T20. He was once the top-ranked ODI bowler in the world and will no doubt be hankering to get back there.

Kamran Akmal went almost unnoticed in the T20, apart from the catch he fumbled and then took. With his reputation suffering its usual yo-yo from fans and a poor series against India with the bat, he will want to do something to enhance it. Kamran was the highest run-scorer for his side in the practice match against the South African Invitation XI with 47 and made a century for Pakistan A against Afghanistan last month. He has some form but can he find some consistency?

Team news:

Experience returns to the South African squad, something that was obvious by its absence in the T20 series. Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla return at the top to prop up the batting line-up. Bowling could be a concern as neither Steyn nor Morkel is likely to play and Kyle Abbott could find himself in line for a third debut in as many weeks, this time for the ODI team.

The middle order will involve a tussle between incumbent Farhaan Behardien and David Miller, with indications that Behardien will be given a few more chances. Ryan McLaren will continue as the main all-rounder while Robin Peterson is likely to operate as the solitary spinner with Aaron Phangiso released to his franchise for Friday's domestic T20 game.

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/David Miller, 7 Ryan McLaren 8 Robin Peterson 9 Rory Kleinveldt, 10 Kyle Abbott, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

If Pakistan go with an XI that is as close as possible to the one that beat India, they will probably play Younis Khan at No.3, leaving no place for Umar Akmal. Shahid Afridi will find a spot at No.7 with Kamran Akmal hanging on to the gloves and Junaid Khan, Umar Gul and Mohammed Irfan making up the pace trio.

Pakistan: (probable) 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Mohammed Hafeez, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Kamran Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Umar Gul, 9 Saeed Ajmal 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Mohammed Irfan

Pitch and conditions:

A surface that is generally as flat as the landscape around it has been good to batsmen in the past. Since 2005, the average innings total has been 253 which includes fixtures against Zimbabwe and Kenya. It will be hard work for all concerned, with a sluggish surface promising to test temperament as it did in the fixture against Sri Lanka early last year. No rain is forecast and typical hot, dry Free State weather will welcome the teams with temperatures to settle at around 26 degrees Celsius.

Stats and Trivia:


  • South Africa need to beat Pakistan 5-nil to rise to No.1 on the ODI rankings from No. 4. Pakistan lie in sixth place.
  • Pakistan have achieved the most ODI series whitewashes - 17. The last time was in the 2011-12 season against Bangladesh. South Africa have blanked teams 12 times. Neither has ever achieved the feat against the other .
  • South Africa are the team that have won the most times off the last ball of a match - seven. Pakistan have managed the same five times.

Quotes:

"It's a new series and a totally different approach. From the Pakistan side, they might have felt a psychologically a blow from the Tests but they bounced back in the T20. For us it's just a new series."
Ryan McLaren does not think either side have a mental advantage going into the ODIs.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    benchwarmers should be given a chance in the first match of the series,and make adjustment as you go along,not after the regulars fail and you put them in with a huge amount of pressure.

    Abdur rehman should have been playing instead of younis ,shoaib or shahid .

    Gul should have been rested and given the bench quickies a chance.

    pakitani pace attack lacking the bite to trouble the SA team.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    "This team can do goods...But most of the time I have seen we both of the supporters of Ind and Pak are so emotional that we looses our temper if our team olay poorly.I have seen the way Pak fans has reacted after the white wash against Sa in the test series and since then the all are after the life of Misbah.But in reallity Misbah is a good leader atleast that man has kept the team away from all the controversies and any groupism in the team.That was his biggest credential.As far ss the poor display of Pak team in tests is concerned is due to the lack of the matches they have played in overseas. But in the limited overs I am sure they will perform better.But they must keep on believing their skipper!"....

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | March 10, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    sa will win 5-0 to go with 3-0 ash. amla man of series . steyn best bowler

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    Best of Luck Shahid Bhai n Team Pakistan

  • POSTED BY romirom on | March 10, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    pak should play wit only 2 players from these four(misbah, younis, afridi, malik)

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Mine playing 11 : Nasir, kamran, Mohammed Hafeez, Younis , Misbah, Shoaib , Afridi, Gul, Saeed,Junaid Khan, Mohammed Irfan Go green go. InshaAllah we will win today ..

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Nasir Jamshed is not playing well.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Younis and misbah are test player and malik should only play t-20. the rest of the team is sum of good young and technically sound players.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | March 10, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    This still isn't SA best ODI squad. Where is quinton de kock. Why are berhedien, ingram and mclaren still there!!! PAK 4-1.

  • POSTED BY Tahir_Anjum on | March 10, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Openers: Nasir, K.Akmal. Middle Order: Hafeez, Asad, U.Akmal, Harris, Hamad. Bowlers: Junaid, Ajmal, Irfan, Gul.. I'll go with combinition.. Pakistan must groom squad for 2015 WC.. Misbah, Afridi, Malik, Younis.. And K.akmal is necessity.. we don;t have a good keeper batsman at domestic level.. I'm hoping that Pak will win today.. There is no shame in losing but with fight..

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    benchwarmers should be given a chance in the first match of the series,and make adjustment as you go along,not after the regulars fail and you put them in with a huge amount of pressure.

    Abdur rehman should have been playing instead of younis ,shoaib or shahid .

    Gul should have been rested and given the bench quickies a chance.

    pakitani pace attack lacking the bite to trouble the SA team.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    "This team can do goods...But most of the time I have seen we both of the supporters of Ind and Pak are so emotional that we looses our temper if our team olay poorly.I have seen the way Pak fans has reacted after the white wash against Sa in the test series and since then the all are after the life of Misbah.But in reallity Misbah is a good leader atleast that man has kept the team away from all the controversies and any groupism in the team.That was his biggest credential.As far ss the poor display of Pak team in tests is concerned is due to the lack of the matches they have played in overseas. But in the limited overs I am sure they will perform better.But they must keep on believing their skipper!"....

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | March 10, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    sa will win 5-0 to go with 3-0 ash. amla man of series . steyn best bowler

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    Best of Luck Shahid Bhai n Team Pakistan

  • POSTED BY romirom on | March 10, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    pak should play wit only 2 players from these four(misbah, younis, afridi, malik)

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Mine playing 11 : Nasir, kamran, Mohammed Hafeez, Younis , Misbah, Shoaib , Afridi, Gul, Saeed,Junaid Khan, Mohammed Irfan Go green go. InshaAllah we will win today ..

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Nasir Jamshed is not playing well.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Younis and misbah are test player and malik should only play t-20. the rest of the team is sum of good young and technically sound players.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | March 10, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    This still isn't SA best ODI squad. Where is quinton de kock. Why are berhedien, ingram and mclaren still there!!! PAK 4-1.

  • POSTED BY Tahir_Anjum on | March 10, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Openers: Nasir, K.Akmal. Middle Order: Hafeez, Asad, U.Akmal, Harris, Hamad. Bowlers: Junaid, Ajmal, Irfan, Gul.. I'll go with combinition.. Pakistan must groom squad for 2015 WC.. Misbah, Afridi, Malik, Younis.. And K.akmal is necessity.. we don;t have a good keeper batsman at domestic level.. I'm hoping that Pak will win today.. There is no shame in losing but with fight..

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | March 10, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    I just hope Ahmad Shahzad gets a fair opportunity and a run at top. I feel he may though not be the next Saeed Anwar but with his addition Pak can form an attacking opening due and most importantly a young opening duo in Shahzad and Nasir Jamshed. Hafeez really should play down somewhere 3 or 6. I understand he is not willing to vacate the spot. I have played cricket too. Once you vacate an opening slot, you almost become vulnerable. 3-2 SA mainly due to Pak are bound to lose one from a winning position.

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | March 10, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    PAK Team need add more batsmen to face SA strongest bowling.

    1) Nasir 2) Imran Farhat 3)Hafeez 4) Yunis 5) Misbah 6) K. Akmal 7) U. Akmal 8) Afridi 9) Sohaib 10) Irfan 11)Junaid Bowlers: Afridi, Hafeez, Sohaib, Irfan, Junaid......No Place for Gul/Ajmal.

  • POSTED BY TeamSelector on | March 9, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    I agree ... both of the young guns ... Umar Akmal & Asad Shafiq deserve to be in the playing eleven. The only bone of contention seems to be whether or not to include Shahid Afridi ... (I say not ... play Malik instead ... he is a finisher). 1-Hafeez, 2-Kamran, 3-Younis, 4-Asad, 5-Misbah, 6-Umar Akmal, 7-Malik, 8-Gul, 9-Ajmal, 10-Junaid, 11-Irfan.

  • POSTED BY fah4 on | March 9, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    When is the last time S.Malik performed with the ball? he bats well against India only he play as an all rounder keeping talented youngsters like U.Akmal /A.Shafiq.When they have S.Ajmal, S.Afridi and M.Hafeez in the team they don't need spin of Malik.They should give chance to U.Akmal or A.Shafiq.K.Akmal should be used as opner my team K.Akmal,N.Jamshed,M.Hafeez,U.Akmal,M.Ul-Haq, A.Shafiq,S.Afridi,U.Gul,W.Riaz,S.Ajmal & J.Khan. Best of luck to the Pakistani team

  • POSTED BY Atta95 on | March 9, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    Pakistan needs more all rounder's if you see in Pakistan current team, they only have one in form all rounder and that's hafeez. Remove misbah and younis from odi and bring some good all rounder's like razaq and hamad azam,

    Bring one more left hand batsman for malik. Irfan is very good bowler who gives less run in an over but if you notice it he gives so many runs in fielding away.

  • POSTED BY Great-shot444 on | March 9, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    Steyn is an excellent test bowler BUT an average ODI bowler . So dont say that RSA is weak without Steyen and if pak beat them then it will be a great victory

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | March 9, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    Sorry, you forgot that Asad Shafiq has been rewarded for his good form in the test matches. In India Shafiq was not available due to injury so Azhar got the opportunity. But now Shafiq is fit and available so he is likely to get in at the cost of Shoeb Malik. Rest of your prediction is ok.

  • POSTED BY uzairamir on | March 9, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    what are the selectors thinking they should groom youngsters to replace the elder players after they leave or the team will fall apart after younis,misbah and company retire

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | March 9, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    4-1 or 3-2 in favor of Pakistan in my opinion. Go green shirts. Best of luck.

    Team should be: Nasir, Kamran, Hafeez, Asad, Umar Akmal, Misbah, Afridi, Gul, Ajmal, Junaid, Wahab.

    I hope this will be last series for Misbah as ODI captain and player.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    Pakistan has always been a BOOM OR BUST side. Being an UNPREDICTABLE side, will have to wait and see which Pakistan turn up! Despite team management denial of a polarization, gutted to hear about news/or rumors of rift/division which will affect the team morale. Strongly support induction of young talent. Some sort of performance from all of Misbahs, Afridis, Maliks, Younises will cement their places in team - which in turn will spell disaster for WC as their they are spent force with expired shelf life (dead wood). Good luck to Pakistan Cricket !

  • POSTED BY Green_Team on | March 9, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    @gibbs u r right it is not easy for RSA to win d contest widout styn bt it also wud not be very easy 4 Pakistan to win d game,because RSA is playing with their full batting strength except kallis . . Best of Luck to both team . . Hope best team is going to win d first battle :)

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    why is pakistan playing again with so many spinners and fast bowlers they need batsman , i dont know what kinda strategy are they trying to achieve , i think its not good to go with 3 fast bowlers

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    Pakistani Team: Jamshed, Hafeez, Younis, U Akmal, Misbah, K Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Ajmal, Gul, Irfan, Junaid. Imran Farhat/Asad Shafiq.

    Please Afridi has no place in any format.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    hi pakishold bring azahor mahmood ,Razaq, UMER Akmal,Ahamad S, kamran,nasir ,yunas , imran farhat,hafeez,asad ,arfan,janid ,riaz,gul,ajmal,reman,zia ul haq,ali, for champion trophy world cup 2015.

  • POSTED BY uSmanali6323 on | March 9, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    I want these players in the playing XI. Jamshed, Afridi, Hafeez, Misbah, Shafiq, Shoaib, U Akmal, Gul, Irfan, Ajmal and Junaid. Younus is experienced but he is not fit for ODIs. Shafiq is a better choice. Afridi wastes his wicket so use him as an opener. We need hafeez to bat in the middle overs so no.3 suits his batting abilities. But if Afridi is a opener, he will give hafeez a chane to play first overs. so hafeez don't fight with misbah for ur batting position. if he is not agree with u, give him a suggestion to start the inning with afridi. U akmal is better than his brother in batting n can play as a Wk.

  • POSTED BY gibbs.175 on | March 9, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    HI SA fans ...without DALE ..is not easy to win the contest....so PAK can win easy this game...GOOD LUCK SA!

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    nobody is talking about asad shafiq, very sad

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | March 9, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    SA team should add J. Kallis, as he very popular player in Pakistan. PAK team should wakeup and should understand they are going to face world#1 team strongest bowling. PAK team should add Abdul Razzak, as he backup Afridi in batting lineup.

    1) Nasir 2) Imran Farhat 3) Hafeez 4) Younis/Haris Sohail 5) Misbah/Asad 6) K. Akmal 7)Afridi 8)Sohaib/Razzak 9)Irfan 10)Junaid 11) U. Akmal

    Pak team should add batsmen in place in Gul & Ajmal. Hafeez, Afridi, Sohaib=sping bowlers, Junaid, Irfan=Fast bowlers.

  • POSTED BY a-khan74 on | March 9, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    just brings inn young player hammad azam/umar amin/shehzad/u akmal/give them a chance to ply all the odi series against quality bowling despite win/lose for the prep of the 2015 also let wahab ply as well as he can carry the bat also.thats how pak team can go ahead for ICC world cup.otherwise ...?u know better.

  • POSTED BY cricketdafan on | March 9, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    misbah and younas need to leave odi team

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    i thnk we should test umar akmal @ no. 4 becoz dis guy has immense potential and making him bat @ no. 6. is not goin to solve anythng. give him one full series at 4 and den decide whether he is onto the task or not. if not den send him back to first class level. from what i hav seen ahmad shehzad and nasir jamshed has to be long tym openers. with hafeez reluctant to bat low. and misbah not hanging his boot that is not going to happen anytime soon. misbah in odi's is no good but again we find ourself pondering over batting of kamran akmal and shahid afridi coz none can play the role of finisher during chase

    batting is a complete mess , and i honestly dont understand the logic of having gul junaid irfan/wahab ajmal afridi and malik in same team. even if u want malik in ur team then he has to be only as a batsman so give him this responsibilty.

    warning should be issued to misbah , malik , afridi perform or perish.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    My XI for the first ODI would be: 1.Jamshed, 2.Hafeez, 3. Kamran 4. Yunus, 5. Umar, 6. Misbah, 7. Afridi / Malik, 8. Wahab, 9.Gul, 10.Ajmal, 11. Junaid. In fact I am not sure whether Hafeez should open as he is an average batsman and continuously fails against quality bowlers. I have preferred Wahab over Irfan as he is a better batsman and a fielder. For the future my ODI XI would be: 1. Jamshed, 2. Farhat, 3. Azhar (V. Captain), 4. Umar Akmal, 5. Yunus (captain), 6. Hafeez, 7. Kamran, 8. Wahab, 9. Gul, 10. Ajmal, 11. Junaid. However, if Yunus and Hafeez fail to perform they should be dropped with Yunus being replaced by Shafiq and Hafeez by a an allrounder, possibly Hamad Azam. Azhar should be encouraged to develop his bowling so that if required he can be the 6th bowler.

  • POSTED BY cricketdafan on | March 9, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    pakistan should go with following line up in first 3 odis [1)hafeez2)nasir jamshed3)kamran akmal4)younas khan5)misbah6)shoaib malik7)afridi8)umar gul9)wahab riaz10)saeed ajmal11)junaid khan and with this line up after champions trophy for preparation for 2015 world cup 1)hafeez(captain)2)nasir jamshed3)kamran akmal4)asad shafiq(vice captain)5)umar amin6)haris sohail7)umar akmal 8)gul9)wahab10)ajmal11)junaid/irfan (m.aamir can be added in too if he is available in 2015 before world cup)

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    not sure if they should have Gul at No-8(though a wonderful bowler). Umar Gul is not a batsmen, even though he can smack a few but he cant occupy the crease for long as Ashwin, Broad or even Kulesekara. Given a smasher like Afridi at No.7, its a pathetic batting line-up. They need Razzaq no doubt at No.7, OHTERWISE SOUTH AFRICA WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    ideally they need a batting medium pace allrounder instead of malik/afridi. but with the squad available i think they will go with the players written in article.

    however, if afridi is in and they have 6 bowlers then they should include a batsman instead of malik. malik is also some inconstant recently.

    Hafeez should not open as he is too weak against moving ball. and kamran akmal should open he is worst down the order.

    Misbah need to score some runs in this serie to justify his odi selection and i think after this series should quit odis.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    its a different format and pakistan is pretty good odi team. though inconsistent. Dont know many talking that pakistan can upset SA? SA isnt that good in ODis. and Steyn isnt there, nor kalis. their middle order is a bit weaker. So its pretty even.

    Reports in media not good. but denied by pak camp.

    Hafeez should not open. he is weak against moving ball like we seen in india series. Plus kamran akmal isnt that good down the order so kamran should open and hafeez should come down the order.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    1.Jamshed 2.Hafiz 3.Kamran Akmal (wk) 4.Misbah(c) 5.Umer Akmal 6.UmerAmin 7. Afridi 8.Riaz 9.Umer Gul 10.Junaid Khan 11. Saeed Ajmal

  • POSTED BY romirom on | March 9, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    younis, misbah, malik and afridi. If these players are in than it would be very difficult for pak to win. Younis and misbah are same type of player who just slow down the game plan. and afridi and malik seems to be cluesless in short selection.

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | March 9, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    please drop Misbah and Malik and bring in Ahmad Shehzad and Hammad Azam. Pak should be looking for 2015 world cup. These old players will have no eye sight by then......

  • POSTED BY riz309 on | March 9, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    No styen and morkel thank you SA for trying to give PAK a hadstart in the odi series very disappointed at the PAK team pls sack the selectors and the management then PAK got a chance to compete with top teams

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    What happend to Albie Morkel... More than a handy bowler and Awsume hitter!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    1.hafeez 2.nasir 3.younus 4.misbah(c) 5.malik 6.umer akmal (wk) 7 afridi 8.wahab 9.gul 10 ajmal 11 junaid

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Pakistan suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the preceding Test series now another whitwash is waiting for Pakistan but i think it is denied in only one condition if misbah, younus n malik are droped than result is turned to Pak favor.

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Man on | March 9, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Going in to the series both the captains would be under pressure. De villiers would be under pressure because his side didn't perform well against New Zealand plus South Africa is desperate to win an ICC event and for that they need some confidence now. Misbah would be under pressure becaus he needs to win something as a captain on this tour plus his own position is at stake. It would be great injustice if Asad Shafiq doesn't get to play after his solid show in the Tests. My Pakistani lineup is 1) Jamshed 2) Hafeez 3) K.Akmal 4) Younis 5) Shafiq 6) Misbah 7) Afridi 8) Riaz 9) Junaid 10) Irfan 11) Ajmal.

  • POSTED BY Porky_PigTheToon on | March 9, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    It is not Test Match which guarantees that The Best will win. This is shorter format of the game. Pakistan can upset SA as likes of Kallis, Steyn and Morkel won't play.

  • POSTED BY duncanmoo on | March 9, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Pak will have to lift their game after the tour match was so close, but I do not doubt that they will.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    I think Pakistan has capability to upset SA if they play to their potentials.Fast bowlers and batsmen have to perform to win series.Younus form is kind of concern for Pakistan.My ODi team is Kamran Akmal,Nasir Jamshed,Hafiz,Younus,Misbah,Shoaib Malik,UmerAmin,Afridi,Saeed Ajmal,Umer Gul,Junaid Khan. if Younus,Shoaib Malik Afridi and Nasir Jamshed do not perform in this match they should be replaced by Imran Farhat,Asad Shafiq,Umer Akmal and A.Rehman.

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | March 9, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Pakistan needs to find Razzaq's replacement very quickly.. This is causing a big problem of balance in team. Misbah should think of playing only in tests. gul in limited over cricket only. Malik and afridi should be only part of T20 squad. Younas should be vice captain in test to take over captaincy in future for test side. Pakistan must give a chance to Haris Sohail, Anwar ali and Rizwan Ahmad (wicket keeper batsman) in very next series.

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | March 9, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    It has been proven many times, that Younis and Malik are complete failures in this format, along with Misbah but I guess you can't drop Misbah because he is the captain.

    Time to promote Umar to the no. 4 slot and Shafiq @ no. 3!

    For the champions trophy squad drop Malik, Younis, Misbah, Rehman, Wahab and Farhat, then replaced by Shezhad, Harris Sohail, Naved Yasin, Fawad, Reza Hasan and Zia-Ul-Haq/Rahat/Sadaf.

    I hope they play this 11: Nasir, Hafeez, Shafiq, Umar, Misbah (Unfortunately), Kamran, Afridi, Gul, Junaid, Ajmal and Irfan.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    @ Cricinforma totally agree with you bro. with an avg of 38 and strike rate of 90 there is no reason for the exclusion of umar

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    i cant understand that why people criticising umar akmal continuously. ok i also agree that he is not doing justice with the talent he possesses. but he is still a best odi bat in pak team. he is a only pak batsmen in top 20 and average of is not bad either infact its good. he shoud be playing instead of malik or younis khan

  • POSTED BY vigneshvinu on | March 9, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    i think younis is not consistent,Nasir jamshed temperment and technique will be tested.asad shafiq must be given a chance.

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | March 9, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    My team would be : (1) Nasir Jamshed (2) Kamran Akmal (3) Hafeez (4) Asad Shafeeq (5) Misbah (6) Umar Akmal (7) Afridi (8) gul (9) Ajmal (10) Junaid (11) Irfan

  • POSTED BY KarachiKid on | March 9, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    They should consider playing Asad Shafiq in place of Younus Khan, but i agree its a close call. Problem with Younus is that his initial few overs are very iffy and he has tendency to lose his wicket inside first 12 deliveries he faces. But if he continues, he someone around whom a good ODI score can be built. He is actually better than Misbah in this role, but Misbah is a bit more consistent. The poitn is between Asad, Younus and Misbah, there can be only two. Umar Akmal is useless - he did not show anything in his lone T20 innings to warrant including on ODI team. Afridi is still an asset purely because of the unique bowling skills he has and of course he is one of the best fielders who dont get over awed by the occasion. Yes batting wise he is pathetic, but better than gul, ajmal and the like. I would have also wanted to see a bit more of Razzaq who can turn a match on its head, especially in ODI's singelhandedly (batting). His bowling has deteriorated the same way Afridi's battign

  • POSTED BY Cricinforma on | March 9, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Lets get the ball rolling, rather lets get the ball swinging and spinning. umar Akmal has too much class to be omitted from the team. Come on Pakistan Team Management, choose the best team based on merit and pick the lad for the upcoming game, albeit in Younis Khans place. Umar averages higher than Younis, and is way more talented in the limited overs format.

  • POSTED BY USMANRANDHAWA on | March 9, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Best chance for both sides to prepare for champion trophy.

  • POSTED BY GlobalCricketLover on | March 9, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    What do Hudson & Kirsten see in Behardien? Baffles me to no end...he is neither a hitter nor a good finisher..from whatever i have seen in his international matches. can't think of any type of role that he fits. I am an Indian and dont watch SA's domestic, may be someone who watches it throw some light...

  • POSTED BY S.Kamran.Ali on | March 9, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    My Team is 1.Jamshed, 2.Hafeez, 3.Shafiq, 4.Younis, 5.Misbah 6. K Akmal, 7. Afridi, 8. Gul, 9. Ajmal, 10. Junaid, 11. Irfan

  • POSTED BY shamdev on | March 9, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    Very interesting ODI series b/n SAF and PAK ahead of Champions trophy. For the 1st ODI PAK seems stronger than SAF. Coz without Steyn and Morkel their bowling strength looks little weak. I wish both the teams to win the 1st match and lead the series with a massive win.

  • POSTED BY Tripswitch on | March 9, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    The time has come for Behardien to cement his place with a decent innings - he has failed to impress thus far.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    great opportunity for both the teams to show their skills and team power befroe the champion trophy!!:)

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    For Younis Khan> Asad Shafique For Shoaib Malik> Umer Akmal

    Nasir,Hafeez,Umer Akmal,ASAD,Misbah,Afridi,Kamran,Gul,Ajmal,Junaid,Irfan

    A More balanced attack it is ...

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | March 9, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Behardien has a really long run in the limited over teams now, and has shown he is not up to it. He blocks out loads of dot balls, then slogs a couple and gets out. Time for him to go.

    Miller has also not performed, but seems to be in and out of the team unlike Behardien. I would give him a few games and if he doesn't do anything then he's out too.

    We have young talent in this country. The two T20 centuries this season have been from 20 yr old De Kock and 22 yr old Cameron Delport, for example. No need to persist with these old failures.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    it's time to say good bye "Misbah, U Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, S K Afridi, Imran Farhat." bring some new talent in the the team. one more thing, when Hafiz, Malik and Ajmal can bowl slow why Afridi is there for no reason? I think bringing in a seamer is better idea, rather than an old, middle aged, out of form and partly controversial character.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    why does south africa make different type of pitches for test, odi and t20?And i want asad shafiq to play instead of shoaib malik

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    Afridi shouldn't have been in the team.. he eats up a spot for a fast bowler

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  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    Afridi shouldn't have been in the team.. he eats up a spot for a fast bowler

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    why does south africa make different type of pitches for test, odi and t20?And i want asad shafiq to play instead of shoaib malik

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    it's time to say good bye "Misbah, U Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, S K Afridi, Imran Farhat." bring some new talent in the the team. one more thing, when Hafiz, Malik and Ajmal can bowl slow why Afridi is there for no reason? I think bringing in a seamer is better idea, rather than an old, middle aged, out of form and partly controversial character.

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | March 9, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Behardien has a really long run in the limited over teams now, and has shown he is not up to it. He blocks out loads of dot balls, then slogs a couple and gets out. Time for him to go.

    Miller has also not performed, but seems to be in and out of the team unlike Behardien. I would give him a few games and if he doesn't do anything then he's out too.

    We have young talent in this country. The two T20 centuries this season have been from 20 yr old De Kock and 22 yr old Cameron Delport, for example. No need to persist with these old failures.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    For Younis Khan> Asad Shafique For Shoaib Malik> Umer Akmal

    Nasir,Hafeez,Umer Akmal,ASAD,Misbah,Afridi,Kamran,Gul,Ajmal,Junaid,Irfan

    A More balanced attack it is ...

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    great opportunity for both the teams to show their skills and team power befroe the champion trophy!!:)

  • POSTED BY Tripswitch on | March 9, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    The time has come for Behardien to cement his place with a decent innings - he has failed to impress thus far.

  • POSTED BY shamdev on | March 9, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    Very interesting ODI series b/n SAF and PAK ahead of Champions trophy. For the 1st ODI PAK seems stronger than SAF. Coz without Steyn and Morkel their bowling strength looks little weak. I wish both the teams to win the 1st match and lead the series with a massive win.

  • POSTED BY S.Kamran.Ali on | March 9, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    My Team is 1.Jamshed, 2.Hafeez, 3.Shafiq, 4.Younis, 5.Misbah 6. K Akmal, 7. Afridi, 8. Gul, 9. Ajmal, 10. Junaid, 11. Irfan

  • POSTED BY GlobalCricketLover on | March 9, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    What do Hudson & Kirsten see in Behardien? Baffles me to no end...he is neither a hitter nor a good finisher..from whatever i have seen in his international matches. can't think of any type of role that he fits. I am an Indian and dont watch SA's domestic, may be someone who watches it throw some light...