Pakistan capable of posing 'serious threat' to South Africa, says Proteas skipper

Under-pressure Pakistan know well that tomorrow's game against strong South Africa will be “do or die” for them

By
Faizan Lakhani
South Africa cricket team captain Temba Bavuma pictured during a press conference in India. — Reporter
South Africa cricket team captain Temba Bavuma pictured during a press conference in India. — Reporter

CHENNAI: South Africa cricket team captain Temba Bavuma has said that Pakistan can still pose a serious threat to the Proteas in the upcoming World Cup match despite the former's poor run-scoring in the tournament.

The two sides are set to clash in the 26th match of ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 tomorrow (Friday) at Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium, where the Men in Green suffered a humiliating record defeat against Afghanistan.

The Babar Azam-led side have been witnessing consecutive losses against Afghanistan, Australia and India in the last three matches so the under-pressure side knows well that tomorrow's game would be “do or die” for them.

However, despite South Africa's excellent standing in the tournament, Bavuma isn't complacent as far as the match against Pakistan is concerned.

"We've planned for the game as we've done for all our matches. We've analysed the Pakistan team, their strengths, weaknesses, and threats. Our approach is to exploit their weaknesses and nullify their strengths. Pakistan is a dangerous team, and we're aware that they can perform exceptionally well on any given day," the Proteas skipper said.

“We know that they haven't played close to their best, but tomorrow could be that. Make sure we are ready for that,” he added

Bavuma acknowledged the quality that Pakistan pose as an opponent by saying that he had Pakistan as one of the top four teams in this tournament from the start.

The South African added that his side respect Pakistan as a team and is aware of their unpredictability.

“We don't have a great record, to be honest, against Pakistan in ODIs. So, I think with everything that is happening around their team, the things that are not happening well for them. I think that humbles us as a team and it really gets us, I guess, to just pull ourselves back and make sure that we still focus on playing good cricket.,” he said

“I saw a comment that described Pakistan as mercurial. I had to Google the word, but it spoke about how a team can be good one day and not so good the other day. So, we want to make sure that when they're good, we are so good as well,” he added.

When asked about possible changes in the squad due to pitch conditions Bavuma mentioned that they haven't finalised the team yet as the team management has not seen the wicket.

“However, we can expect Shamsi to play a significant role,” he said.

Speaking of their explosive middle order, Bavuma emphasised its importance. "The explosive middle order's success is a result of the foundation laid by the top order. It's essential for them to come in and express their talent when the game has been set up for them."

Bavuma expressed confidence in the team's abilities and their preparations, setting the stage for an intriguing clash against Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup. South Africa aims to continue their strong form and secure a crucial victory.