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South Africa, on fire, is hoping to break a 24-year curse against a faltering Pakistan

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Overview: Is Pakistan able to resume its current course?

As one campaign comes to an end, another gains momentum. For the most part of the history of the ICC event, Pakistan and South Africa have been involved in it. In these tournaments, Pakistan stutters and stalls until they leave themselves with no margin for error, at which point they explode into life. In contrast, South Africa has often appeared like one of the most formidable sides in the early going. This match, which is scheduled to take place at that pivotal point in the World Cup group stages, adds momentum to the story by making Pakistan appear somewhat more upbeat and South Africa appear a little more cautious.

However, Pakistan could be eliminated from this World Cup while South Africa hopes to create history. South Africa’s clinical effectiveness and ferocious brilliance have combined to give that side a steel and ruthlessness that they have sometimes been accused of lacking. With Marco Jansen starting at number seven, the team may always appear thin, but with almost every player in the top six in such brilliant form, no team, save Netherlands, has been able to penetrate that lineup until devastating damage has already been done.

Despite not having a bowler go wicket in any of their five games thus far, South Africa will likely continue to assess their bowling and determine that it still needs work. Getting rid of the lower order has proven difficult in almost every game, even though both the pace batteries and the spin attack have had little trouble blowing away upper orders. Temba Bavuma’s team hasn’t needed to worry too much because the batsmen have provided enough cover, but it was perhaps the cause of their lone loss—a bizarre setback to the Netherlands in which they were able to reach 245 for 8 after losing their seventh wicket at 140.

These are first-world difficulties in cricket parlance, compared with Pakistan. Pakistan’s concerns are marginally more than their dissatisfaction at losing to the reigning champions by 229 runs instead of the 300 runs they desired. Pakistan had won two of their first three matches in the competition despite having a rocky start. However, they have since lost three straight, with Afghanistan humiliating them by eight wickets in the last match. With each of Sri Lanka, India, Australia, and Afghanistan putting them to the sword, that department has appeared almost historically feeble for a squad that takes pride in the ferocity of their speed assault.

The top order, which was the backbone of their run-scoring ability, has deteriorated over time, despite the fact that the batting has occasionally performed better. Abdullah Shafique has created some substance to match his technique, but the middle order has been put through more than it can handle when Babar Azam lost his almost mechanical quality of unrelenting accumulation and Fakhar Zaman got hurt. Due to Shadab Khan’s awful ball-handling performance, there are doubts regarding his spot in the team. It has also affected the batting order, effectively depriving Australia of a batsman. When you consider that every game is a knockout, history appears to be the only thing holding Pakistan’s hopes of advancement higher than quality.

In an odd statement, the PCB itself seems to be seeing red ink on paper and is pleading with supporters to stick with the club. It engaged in a little self-preservation of its own, accusing captain Babar, who was under pressure, and head selector Inzamam-ul-Haq of making the wrong choice in choosing the team.

While Pakistan can face shame, South Africa hopes to shine. Right now, the two sides of brilliant green could not appear more dissimilar from one another.

Form handbook

Pakistan LLLWW (the most recent match out of the last five completed matches)
WWLWW in South Africa

Pakistan’s greatest hitter in a generation is at his lowest, lacking form by his high standards, under fire for his captaincy, and perhaps rejected by his own board. A team under Babar Azam’s leadership appears to be heading toward collapse. However, Pakistan is currently in the same situation as when he produced his most well-known innings to date—that century against New Zealand in 2019—and they are still in the game. Pakistan’s destiny is virtually exclusively dependent on Babar’s batting form against an assault that will probably cause problems for the majority of his teammates. Few will bother to check further up his hands to see if that wristband is still on if he can execute a blow comparable to the one against New Zealand four years ago.

When everyone is aware of your issue with the short ball and you are facing a 209-cm ball, like they are with Imam-ul-Haq This Marco Jansen does not make you happy. The ideal two-in-one player, a cricketer’s cheat code, has had an incredible World Cup, taking two wickets in each of his five games while controlling the economy rate. Pakistan’s batsmen lack confidence, and his ability to swing the new ball and get extra bounce will betray the high pace and consistency of his bowling. As evidenced by his mullering of England, Jansen is one of the most deadly lower-order batters at the end of the game.

Team news: Fakhar and Bavuma will be back.

If Fakhar Zaman plays, Imam-ul-Haq is probably going to have to make way because he has been deemed fit. More significantly, Hasan Ali’s fever has ruled him out, which probably puts Muhammad Wasim Jr. in the running.

Pakistan: (probably) Imam-ul-Haq/Fakhar Zaman, 1 Abdullah Shafique, 2 Babar Azam (capt), 3 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 4 Saud Shakeel, 6 Ahmed Iftikhar, 11 Haris Rauf, 12 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 13 Mohammad Wasim Jr., 14 Usama Mir, and 7 Shadab Khan

The biggest dilemma facing South Africa was what to do with captain Temba Bavuma, who was forced to miss play, but Reeza Hendricks filled in admirably. However, Bavuma will return to captain the team, and South Africa has also chosen to substitute Gerald Coetzee with Keshav Maharaj in order to add extra spin.

Temba Bavuma (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), and Rassie van der Dussen (presumably) are the South African players. Aiden Markram, four 5 Karl Ludwig Klaasen 6 David Miller, 7 Jansen Marco 8 Lungi Ngidi/Lizaad Williams, 9 Tabraiz Shamsi, 10 Kagiso Rabada, and 11 Keshav Maharaj

Pitch and circumstances

The pitch will be slightly faster than the typical Chennai surface because it is the same one that was utilized for the Bangladesh-New Zealand match two weeks ago. A brief downpour is a possibility, but a full game is more likely.

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