The business end of the ODI World Cup 2023 is approaching steadily. South Africa (SA) have been a dominant force thus far, bagging four wins in the five games they have played. Meanwhile, the Pakistan (PAK) players need to pull up their socks as they have lost three matches on the trot after starting their campaign with two consecutive wins. The two teams lock horns on Friday, October 27, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The Proteas have scored the most number of runs in the ongoing edition of the showpiece event. Pakistan, on the other hand, have been far from their best and Babar Azam’s future as captain is reportedly under the scanner. South Africa will look to continue their purple patch while the ‘Men in Green’ would have to win to stay within touching distance of the top four in the points table, CricTracker reports.
MA Chidambaram Stadium Pitch Report:
Spinners have traditionally done well at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, also known as Chepauk. The ball grips onto the surface and makes life difficult for batters. However, in the ODI World Cup 2023, the pitches have not been as tough on the batters as it was expected to be. Three out of the four games played in the marquee event have been won by the chasing teams. Therefore, the pitches haven’t slowed down in the second innings, contrary to expectations. There is also help for the new-ball bowlers under the lights. The captain who wins the toss could look to bat second.
PAK vs SA Probable Playing XI
Imam ul Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz/Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Usama Mir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
South Africa (SA):
Quinton de Kock (WK), Temba Bavuma (C), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
PAK vs SA Probable Best Performers
Probable Best Batter: Quinton de Kock (South Africa)
The flamboyant wicketkeeper-batter has already notched up three centuries in five matches and amassed 407 runs at 81.40. He is in sublime form and can cause immense damage if he manages to spend some time at the crease.
Probable Best Bowler: Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)
The left-arm seamer has blown hot and cold in the tournament thus far. He has 10 wickets in five matches, including a five-for against Australia. Shaheen will have to make the new ball talk and pick some wickets upfront as the Proteas have a very strong batting lineup.