The MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai will host the high-voltage clash between Pakistan and South Africa on Friday, 27th October.
Despite securing two victories in five matches, Pakistan’s inconsistent performance has been a cause for concern. They are yet to deliver a comprehensive performance where all aspects of their game are in sync.
They face a formidable challenge in South Africa, who have emerged as one of the standout teams in India, boasting four victories with only a single defeat marring their record.
The Proteas’ solitary loss came as a surprise against the Netherlands, a match where their usually reliable batting lineup faltered.
South Africa’s batting prowess, featuring Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, and David Miller, has been a nightmare for opposition bowlers. Pakistan’s pace battery will need to step up to the challenge in Chennai.
The onus will be on Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf to provide early breakthroughs for Pakistan, or they risk facing another high-scoring onslaught.
Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.
South Africa Squad:
Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lizaad Williams.
Players to Watch
Pakistan – Babar Azam
Despite a respectable tally of 157 runs at an average of 31.40 in five games, the world’s top-ranked ODI batter, Babar Azam, is expected to deliver more. The Pakistan skipper needs to step up and guide his team towards a semi-final spot with a significant contribution against South Africa’s balanced bowling attack.
South Africa – Quinton de Kock
South Africa’s opener, Quinton de Kock, is arguably one of the most in-form batters at the World Cup. With three centuries and a tournament-leading 407 runs at an average of 81.40 in five matches, he is a crucial component of South Africa’s explosive top order.