Pakistan and South Africa will enter five-match One Day International (ODI) series after the two-Test series. The first ODI will be played at Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah on Wednesday.
Where to Watch Live:
The 1st ODI will begin at 04:30 pm IST on Wednesday and it will be telecast live on Ten Cricket and Ten HD in India, and on PTV Sports in Pakistan.
With the two-Test series drawn, Pakistan and South Africa series has turned into an exciting one. Both the teams will try to win the opener of the ODI series.
Pakistan have won 11 of the 22 ODIs played in the last one year. Their main worry is batting with the team failing to score more than 300 runs since March this year. Batting failure has cost them matches in their recent outings, so they will be looking forward to put a good total on the board.
South Africa too had a dismal outing as far as ODI is concerned, winning only seven of the 18 matches played in the last year. Their problem is also batting inconsistency. However, they have an edge over Pakistan in bowling department and that should help them in the series.
South Africa have 42-20 win-loss and one no result record against Pakistan in 63 ODIs played so far.
Pakistan: Three players - Haris Sohail, Anwar Ali and Asad Ali - who featured in the recent series against Zimbabwe have left out. Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood and Wahab Riaz have been recalled to the squad.
South Africa: Fast bowler Dale Steyn has been rested for the first two ODIs after he suffered a hamstring injury during the Test series. Hashim Amla's availability is also doubtful, as he hasn't returned after he flew home for the birth of his second child. Colin Ingram is in stand-by in case Alma fails to join the squad. However, the return of Graeme Smith will boost the confidence of the team.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq's form in the Test series is something to cheer about for Pakistan. He will be expected to lead from the front. They have Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi in the batting line-up but their consistency is going to be a worry.
Mohammad Irfan and Saeed Ajmal were in great form in the Test series and they will be expected to carry the form to the ODIs. Junaid Khan's performance in the two Tests was also impressive.
AB de Villiers is one of the most feared batsmen in the world as he can turn the course of a game on his day. They have Graeme Smith, David Miller, Q de Kock, JP Duminy and F du Plessis in the batting line-up but Hashim Amla, who is doubtful for the 1st ODI, could cause a vacuum in the squad if he fails to join the squad.
Dale Steyn, the key bowler of the team, will miss the first couple of matches. He will be missed but the Proteas have Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and others who can trouble the batsmen.
With the pitch at Sharjah expected to assist the batsmen, the performance of the bowlers will be vital in deciding the fate of the match. South Africa has an edge over Pakistan in the bowling and fielding departments.
South Africa are the favourites to win.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain) Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Sohaib Maqsood, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed
South Africa: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Q de Kock, JP Duminy, F du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe