Pakistan will battle against South Africa in Match 26 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, India, on October 27. The face-off is scheduled to happen at 02:00 PM IST. Pakistan head into the match on the back of a hat-trick of losses against India, Australia and Afghanistan. Although the Babar Azam-led team started their ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign with back-to-back wins against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, the Men in Green have lost their way in the quadrennial showpiece since then with losses against India, Australia and Afghanistan.
Pakistan occupies the fifth spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 league standings. They also have a slightly better Net Run Rate compared to the other teams below them.
South Africa, meanwhile, is a team on a two-match winning run. The Proteas started the campaign with back-to-back wins over Sri Lanka and Australia. However, they suffered a shock defeat at the hands of the Netherlands. Since then, the Temba Bavuma-led team has regrouped strongly and registered massive wins over defending champions England (by 229 runs) and Bangladesh (by 149 runs), Courtesy of the big wins, South Africa have jumped to the second spot with eight points from five matches in the league table.
Weather conditions and pitch report
The pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai mostly favours the batters. However, as the match progresses the surface starts to deteriorate and spinners come into play. The average first innings score in the last 10 matches at this stadium is 265 runs. However, in the last four ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 matches, the teams bowling first have won three matches while one match has been won by the side batting first.
Talking about the weather, the temperature at the MA Chidambaram Stadium is expected to be 29.33 with 61% humidity.
Predicted playing XI
Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (C), Muhammad Rizwan (WK), Iftikhar Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Usama Mir, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (WK), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram (C), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Gerald Coetzee, Lungi Ngidi
PAK vs SA Fantasy XI
Wicket-keepers: Heinrich Klaasen
Batters: Mohammad Rizwan, Quinton de Kock, Abdullah Shafique, Aiden Markram
All-rounders: Shadab Khan, Marco Jansen
Bowlers: Shaheen Shah Afridi, Kagiso Rabada, Hasan Ali, Gerald Coetzee
South Africa’s Heinrich Klaasen is the top contender for the wicket-keeper’s choice in the fantasy team. The right-handed batter is one of the in-form players in the competition. Klaasen has knocks of 109 (against England) and 90 (against Bangladesh) in the last two matches.
Among the batters, South African Quinton de Kock is in a red-hot form. The left-handed opener is the top scorer in the ongoing competition. The 30-year-old is the only batter to have smashed three centuries in the tournament so far.
Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan is another batter who is in a rich vein of form. The wicketkeeper-batter has piled up 302 runs in 5 matches so far. Mohammad Rizwan has top-scored 131 not out against Sri Lanka.
Rizwan’s teammate Abdullah Shafique has been responsible for providing Pakistan with brisk starts. In the process, the right-handed batter has notched up 255 runs in 4 matches so far. He has top-scored with 113 (against Sri Lanka) and followed it up with scores of 64 (against Australia) and 58 (against Afghanistan).
South Africa’s stand-in skipper Aiden Markram is one of the most consistent players in the tournament, scoring a century and two half-centuries in five matches. Overall, Aiden Markram has racked up 265 runs at a strike rate of 123.83 so far.
In the all-rounder’s category, South Africa’s Marco Jansen fits the bill. Jansen has contributed with the bat and also scalped crucial wickets in Proteas’ four wins in five matches. In total, Marco Jansen has taken 10 wickets in 5 matches as well as scored 123 runs at a strike rate of 126.80.
Pakistan’s Shadab Khan has provided his team with a rear-guard action with the bat in most matches. With the ball, Shadab Khan has scalped crucial wickets along with restricting opponents from scoring runs freely.
In the bowler’s category, Kagiso Rabada is the top wicket-taker for South Africa in the ongoing tournament. He will be the main weapon for the Proteas against Pakistan. Overall, Rabada has taken 10 wickets in 5 matches.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, meanwhile, is the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan with 10 wickets in five matches. The left-arm pacer will have to play a crucial role if Pakistan has to keep South Africa’s explosive batting order in check.
Hasan Ali is a good choice amongst bowlers in fantasy teams. The right-arm medium pacer has snapped 8 wickets in 5 matches. From South Africa, Gerald Coetzee will be a good option. He is amongst South Africa’s top-two wicket-takers in the competition currently with 10 wickets across three matches.
Captain: Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock is the best choice for the captaincy spot. The wicketkeeper-batter has scored 407 runs in 5 matches. The southpaw has averaged 83 match fantasy points in the last 10 games.
Vice-captain: Heinrich Klaasen
Heinrich Klaasen is one of the most consistent players in the tournament. He has amassed 288 runs in 5 matches with a strike rate of 150.79 and is a top contender for the vice-captaincy spot.
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