Saturday Apr 10, 2021
KARACHI: The Pakistan cricket team will look to repeat its ODI series performance when they take on injury-hit South Africa in the four-match T20I series starting today.
With top players already leaving the side for Indian Premier League (IPL) stints, South Africa is also hit by injuries.
A day before the first T20I in Johannesburg, South Africa’s white-ball captain Temba Bavuma was ruled out of the series after suffering a Grade One hamstring strain. In his absence, Heinrich Klaasen will lead the Proteas.
Dwaine Pretorius and Rassie van der Dussen will also miss the series due to fitness issues while Reeza Hendricks withdrew from the series for family reasons.
Pakistan will enter the series with high confidence after a 2-1 win against South Africa in the ODI series and are aiming to continue the form.
The current form of Babar Azam along with Fakhar Azam will be a source of relief for the team management.
The boys in green will also be boosted by the fact that the recent T20I form is not encouraging for South Africa as the Protease have won only two out of their last 10 Twenty20 Internationals.
In comparison, Pakistan has won 7 of its last 10 T20I games.
On the ICC T20I rankings, Pakistan is at no 4 while South Africa is at sixth place. If Pakistan win all four matches, it will help them reduce the gap with third-placed Australia. If South Africa wins 4-nil, it will jump to 4th place and Pakistan will be dropped to 6th place.
Azam will be captaining Pakistan in his sixth series since taking over as T20I captain in October 2019. After losing 2-0 to Australia under his captaincy, the Pakistan side defeated Bangladesh 2-0, drew 1-1 with England, won 3-0 against Zimbabwe, and 2-1 against South Africa.
On a head to head, South Africa lead Pakistan by 9-8, including 4-3 on their turf.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Arshad Iqbal, Asif Ali, Danish Aziz, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sharjeel Khan and Usman Qadir.
South Africa: Heinrich Klaasen (captain, wicketkeeper), Aiden Markram, Andile Phehlukwayo, Beuran Hendricks, Bjorn Fortuin, George Linde, Rassie van der Dussen, Janneman Malan, Sisanda Magala, Wiaan Mulder, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Kyle Verreynne, Pite van Biljon, Daryn Dupavillon, Migael Pretorius, Lizaad Williams and Wihan Lubbe
10 April - 1st T20I; Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
12 April - 2nd T20I; Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
14 April - 3rd T20I; SuperSport Park, Pretoria
16 April -4th T20I; SuperSport Park, Pretoria