Brushing aside all the negativity, Pakistan will hope to stamp their rise in limited overs cricket with a series win when they meet South Africa for the fifth and final ODI at Cape Town on Wednesday. After their regular captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed, was banned for four matches for passing inappropriate comments during the 3rd ODI, Pakistan stood against all odds to register a resounding victory. They not only kept the series alive but also made sure they have the momentum going into the series decider. South Africa have always been dominant at home, but this touring Pakistani side has certainly cast a shadow on South Africa’s much hyped World Cup preparations. With just months left for the mega event, both sides know tomorrow’s result will be critical for the way their World Cup 2019 shapes up. Keeping the future aside, for now, it will be the newly balanced Pakistan side against the still in making South Africa. Both sides lack a quality spinner despite the conditions being spin friendly and that is just what the deciding factor could be.
Injuries: On the injury front, South Africa will enter the series decider on a positive with every player fully fit.
Doubt: Imran Tahir failed to trouble the Pakistani batsmen but he being their primary option for World Cup, is expected to start ahead of Tabraiz Shamsi again.
Questionable: Willem Mulder has been drafted into the side and has only Andile Phehlukwayo’s spot to fill.
Expected Changes: The only change we expect is the swap of Willem Mulder and Andile Phehlukwayo.
Injuries: Pakistan too will have a fully fit squad available for selection.
Doubt: Sarfaraz Ahmed will continue to sit out serving his 4-match ban.
Questionable: Imad Wasim played the exact role he was picked for which rules out the possibility of Faheem Ashraf playing.
Expected Changes: We do not expect any changes to the Pakistan Playing11.
Quinton de Kock (WK), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (C), Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Rassie Van der Dussen, Willem Mulder/Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Beuran Hendricks, Imran Tahir
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-Ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik(C), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Khan
It is difficult to rule out Shaheen Afridi from your fantasy pick. He has been quick and accurate with his line and length. The main reason for him being our captain is the fact that he is expected to bowl at the death, the phase where South Africa are expected to loose more wickets. In the bowling unit, picking South African bowlers is a big risk as they are still prioritising World Cup preparations more than the series. Changes are thus expected from South Africa. Pakistan, are much more stable in terms for player changes which prompts us to pick majority of our players from Pakistan. As for the batting is concerned, we’ve chose almost all the top contenders who have been in nice touch and are expected to play a crucial role in the decider. Same is the case with All Rounders for South Africa as we’re not sure whether it will be Willem Mulder or Andile Phehlukwayo starting tomorrow. That leaves space for both Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim.