1st T20I: 11th February 16:00 PM at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
2nd T20I: 13th February 16:00 PM at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
3rd T20I: 14th February 16:00 PM at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Pakistan will host South Africa in a three-match T20I series which begins 11 February. Pakistan defeated the visitors 2-0 in the Test series and are looking to do the same in the shorter format as well. As far as the position of the two sides in the ICC T20I ranking goes, Pakistan are placed fourth whereas South Africa are at fifth. The hosts lost their last T20I series by a 2-1 margin to New Zealand and their record in the last two years hasn’t been good either. They have won just eight out of the 21 T20Is they have played since 2019 and have lost 11 during this period.
The visitors haven’t had good returns in this format of late either. They are on a four-match losing streak and that includes a 3-0 series loss to England at home last year. In fact, out of the 17 T20Is the Proteas have played in the last two years, they have won just seven while losing nine of them. So both teams will be eager to get back to winning ways in this series. Pakistan, though, will have home advantage in their favour and hence, they will start as the favourites.
Grounds and Pitches
All three matches in this T20I series between Pakistan and South Africa will take place at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. In total, 11 T20Is have been played at this stadium and there isn’t much to separate when it comes to victories by teams batting first and teams batting second.
Six times the teams that have opted to bat first have tasted victory, while five times the target has been chased down. However, last year both the matches between Pakistan and Bangladesh at this ground went in the favour of the chasing team. The average score is around the 165-run mark.
Heinrich Klaasen (C), Nandre Burger, Okuhle Cele, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, George Linde, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Ryan Rickleton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts, Jacques Snyman, Glenton Stuurman, Pite van Biljon
Babar Azam (C), Aamer Yamin, Amad Butt, Asif Ali, Danish Aziz, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Qadir, Zafar Gohar, Zahid Mehmood.
Probable Playing XI
Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Haider Ali, Babar Azam (C), Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir
Janneman Malan, Reeza Hendricks, Jon-Jon Smuts, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla
Babar Azam has become the first name on the Pakistan team sheet. He is an all-format specialist and has been extremely consistent for a couple of years now. The Pakistan skipper has an unprecedented average of 50.93 in T20Is, with 16 half centuries to his name.
Hasan Ali is a part of a young and exciting Pakistan bowling unit featuring the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi. Hasan Ali has picked up 35 wickets in his 30-match T20I career at a strike rate of 17.7. The pacer is enjoying a rich vein of form and will be eager carry on the momentum from the recently concluded Test series.
Tabraiz Shamsi is definitely one of the Proteas’ star players heading into the T20I series. The left-arm spinner is highly regarded as one of the best T20I bowlers according to the ICC rankings and will enjoy bowling in the subcontinent.
David Miller is one of the few senior pros in this South African squad. The southpaw no longer has the same aura around him that he possessed half a decade ago, but is still the most dangerous batsman for South Africa. A good display in this series will go a long way in cementing his place for the Rajasthan Royals as well.
Pakistan emphatically won the Test series. As the format shortens, the disparity between the sides will only increase. Pakistan is the much better side on paper and should use home advantage to their favour. South Africa are no pushovers for sure, but without the likes of de Kock, du Plessis and Rabada, they will have to produce some monumental performances to beat Pakistan. A clean sweep for Pakistan is expected here.