Pakistan were not expected to have shown such a dominance against South Africa after being beaten badly in the Test series. The momentum is on their side ahead of the series-decider at Cape Town.
It had been a while since Pakistan put such a comprehensive performances in all facets of the game. Mostly, their batting department had been the weak link. But, this series, the batsmen have stepped up. They have played with intent and seemed to have cracked the code of batting in ODI cricket.
On surfaces where South African batsmen have pulverized the best of the bowling line-ups, Pakistan’s bowling unit has done well to keep the screws tight on the hosts, which has allowed them to keep the wickets’ column ticking.
South Africa wanted to utilize this series to find the right balance to their side ahead of the World Cup. Their three debutants made an impact, proving they are ever-ready for national call-ups. Despite possessing an otherwise daunting lineup, the hosts have been outplayed – even in some patches of the matches they ended up winning – by the touring party throughout the series. And, in the surprising turn of events, it is they who will be feeling the heat ahead of the all-important final.
WHEN: 30 January, 2019 at 4:30 PM IST / 11:00 AM GMT / 01:00 PM LOCAL
VENUE: Newlands, Cape Town
South Africa: Wiaan Mulder has been added to the squad for the series-decider. The comfort with which the Pakistan batsmen tackled Imran Tahir may force them to bring in Tabraiz Shamsi.
Probable SA XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Reeza Hendricks, Faf du Plessis (C), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Beuran Hendricks, tabraiz Shamsi
Pakistan: Though Pakistan were exceptional with the ball in the Pink ODI, questions remain over their first-change bowler. Pakistan would want Hasan to retain that role.
Probable XI: Imam ul Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik (C), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Khan