In the 2023 World Cup, Pakistan’s famed batsmen have struggled, hitting only 24 sixes and 136 fours in five matches. In contrast, South African batsmen have been more aggressive, with 155 fours and 59 sixes.
The contest, taking place at 2 pm (local time), is garnering attention as Pakistan must win to keep their knockout hopes alive. A loss not only closes the door to the knockout stage but could also spell trouble for captain Babar Azam, who’s been under scrutiny for Pakistan’s poor performance. To progress, Pakistan not only needs victories but also depends on Australia losing at least two of their remaining four matches.
The unpredictable nature of the Pakistan team is well-known in the cricket world, where one day they can look like world champions and the next, they might falter against a weaker team. Babar Azam understands the need for Pakistan to be at their best in such a competitive tournament. However, it will take a near-miraculous effort to defeat South Africa, who, despite their shock loss to the Netherlands, remain a formidable side. South Africa’s batting stars, including Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen, and Aiden Markram, have delivered consistently.
In contrast, Pakistan has been struggling in both batting and bowling. Few players have had a strike rate close to 100, and their bowling attack, including Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, has underperformed. Pakistan is missing Naseem Shah’s prowess in the bowling department.
The Achilles’ heel for Pakistan has been the lack of an effective spinner. Both Usama Mir and Shadab Khan have failed to live up to expectations. South Africa, on the other hand, is in a strong position with de Kock’s incredible batting form and effective bowling by Kagiso Rabada and others.
In head-to-head statistics, South Africa has the upper hand, winning 51 out of 82 matches played between the two teams. Pakistan has won 30, with one match ending inconclusive.
The probable playing elevens for this crucial World Cup match of South Africa vs Pakistan are as follows:
Abdullah Shafiq, Imam-ul-Haq/Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf/Mohammad Wasim Jr.
Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (captain), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Janssen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lizard Williams/Tabariz Shamsi.
The match is scheduled for 2 pm local time, with the toss happening at 1.30 pm. In India, you can watch it live on the Star Sports Network, while online streaming is available on the Disney+ Hotstar app. Don’t miss this “do or die” clash in the World Cup, as Pakistan aims to revive its campaign against the formidable South Africa