Friday, September 28, 2012

Pakistan versus South Africa- Battle of the Titans?

This clash pits the established and orthodox might of South Africa against the compelling unpredictable brilliance of Pakistan in what looks as an absolute humdinger of a match. Throw in the tension of it being the first game in the cut throat Group of Death and you can see why this will be must see viewing.

Likely Teams


The line up is fairly established with the only real query being the make up of its bowling unit in regards to the lack of form from their traditionally lethal pacemen. Inexplicably, a man that usually dominates with ball in the T20 arena in The 'Guldozer' Umar Gul has been a shadow of his usual lethal force. An average of  
82 combined with an economy rate of 11.71 underlines his struggles

When pressed on the issue, Captain Mohammad Hafeez rose to Gul's defence showing the backing he has.

A more intriguing prospect is whether Pakistan is a bit adventurous and tries to exploit South Africa's reputation of being weak against spin. This would see the left arm 18 year old spinning phenomenon in Raza Hasan added to the line up challenging the South African batsmen with his skill and guile. As well as putting them off side with them knowing very little about him.

I would include him especially with the pitch being viewed as 
 much slower, with little in it for the quicks. 

Leaving the Team as follows

Mohammad Hafeez (capt), 2 Imran Nazir, 3 Nasir Jamshed, 4 Kamran Akmal (wk), 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Yasir Arafat, 9 Raza Hasan, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Saeed Ajmal

South Africa

The performances have been near flawless so far.

So the Team will be the same with only a madman contemplating changing it

1 Richard Levi, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Albie Morkel 8 Johan Botha 9 Robin Peterson 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Dale Steyn

A Look at the Teams

When you look at this game and run your eyes over the two Teams you come to the conclusion that South Africa has a real completeness with all the Aces in their places. Whereas with Pakistan's side, you can see many question marks against the best, but then many answers as well.

The main question mark is a traditional flaw with their fielding highlighted by the Kamran Akmal factor........ Which you know that an astutely professional unit like South Africa will exploit to the max.
Then their batting..............

Brilliant so far, but achieved against minnows with one Pakistani wag ordaining Imran Nazir as the 'Bradman against Bangladesh,' only for his mate to reply that that honour belongs to Sachin Tendulkar............

Herein lies the key for Pakistan in regards to whether these batsmen with question marks against them can perform against the bowling might of South Africa.

Which with the likes of Mssrs Steyn and Morkel this will not be easy

If they can then they can give South Africa a few tremors for as I touched on earlier Pakistan is a Team with as many 'answers' as they do have questions.

Most notably their bowling which has the potential to upend even the very best. Especially on a slow pitch that is starting to spin with the quality of spinners that they posses.

Away from my obsession of the mystery of Pakistan, South Africa in truth has this game and Tournament as part of its destiny.

In regards to if it performs to its optimum in all the disciplines no one will come close to it.

But as we have seen before, South Africa often has the best Team on paper, but the key will be how it translates in their players minds.

The first judgement will be a cauldron like setting of this match

Who Wins

I think as long as Pakistan's batting stands up that they will win led by their spinners.

Due to the help from the pitch in what will be a tight tough match

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