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South Africa vs Pakistan 2nd ODI Preview: Proteas aim to draw level before big guns depart for IPL

Quinton De Kock and Babar Azam
Quinton De Kock and Babar Azam

Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, David Miller and Quinton de Kock will leave the South African squad to join their respective franchises for the upcoming IPL after the second ODI on Sunday.

 LIVE - South Africa vs Pakistan 2nd ODI

Fearless? Not really

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said upon landing in South Africa that his team would like to be fearless in the series and play an aggressive brand of cricket. As things turned out in the first ODI, Pakistan's approach was far from aggressive as they managed to chase down the below-par target of 274 on the last ball of the 50th over.

Nevertheless, the team would be happy to get out of jail at the last moment. At the same time, they would certainly look to be a lot more aggressive in the coming matches.

Both Pakistan and South Africa would expect their openers to ramp the scoring a little bit. Although it will not be easy given that there is something in the pitch for the bowlers at this time of the year, the likes of Quinton de Kock and Fakhar Zaman are certainly capable of getting their respective team to a rollicking start.

Couple of interesting team choices

Both teams made a couple of surprising decisions in terms of the team combination in the series opener. South Africa showed their faith in Aiden Markram while dropping Janneman Malan.

Likewise, Pakistan played explosive batsman Asif Ali ahead of young sensation Haider Ali which gave a peek into how the team management was thinking. The idea was to set up a good base and then allow the power-hitters in the middle order to go all guns blazing. Unfortunately for them, it did not go as planned.

In the absence of Haris Sohail and Imad Wasim, the Karachi left hand batsman and slow left arm orthodox bowler Danish Aziz was handed his international debut. 

Babar Azam had said before the beginning of the series that Hasan Ali was fit and available for selection after recovering from a bout of COVID-19. Had that been the case, there is no doubt that Ali would have been part of the XI.

Perhaps, the team management did not want to rush him into the side too quickly, but with Haris Rauf going for 72 runs in the first ODI, the team might consider bringing in Ali in his place.

Cream of Protea crop to depart after 2nd ODI

Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, David Miller and Quinton de Kock will leave the South African squad to join their respective franchises for the upcoming IPL after the second ODI on Sunday.

The IPL begins on April 9th and there is a mandatory quarantine period of one week for all players and support staff. This means that the players will miss the first match for each of their teams and will only be available from the second game onwards despite missing the last ODI and the four T20Is against Pakistan

Go short and quick in middle overs

While chasing 274, Pakistan were cruising along at 186/1 in 32nd over when tearaway Anrich Nortje changed the game. Babar Azam edged a steeply rising delivery to the keeper after bringing up his ton, Imam could not control a pull shot against a ball outside the off stump, Danish Aziz was stunned by a well-aimed bumper and nicked it to wicket keeper Quinton de Kock while Asif Ali miscued a pull shot and was caught in the deep.

South Africa, who had been struggling for a wicket for almost 30 overs, got four on no time. And, it was Nortje who showed the way.

The pitches being slower than usual during this time of the year, short-pitch bowling is a great ploy to not only keep the runs down but also pick up wickets and both teams would have certainly taken a note of that. Before Nortje, Rabada and Ngidi depart for the IPL, they will make sure to try this tactic a lot more than they did in the first ODI.

Pakistan also have bowlers who bowl at over 140 kph and the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain and Haris Rauf will also bowl the hard lengths as much as possible.

Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:

South Africa
- Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi 

Pakistan - Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf/Hasan Ali

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