Pakistan and South Africa are ready to face off in the three-match T20I series, starting with the game on February 11 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Both teams are coming in the contest after a hard-fought two-match T20I series where the Men in Green emerged victorious with 2-0 scoreline. All three matches will be played in Lahore and the series will be concluded on February 14.
We have identified a list of three Pakistan players who have the ability to turn the game in the favour of the home team in a much-anticipated white-ball cricket series.
Babar Azam is termed as one of the best batsmen across all formats in international cricket. The right-hander currently has the highest average in the history of T20 internationals of 50.93, better than the likes of India’s Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.
Babar is coming on the back of a rather disappointing Test series with the bat in hand where he managed to score just 122 runs in four innings at an average of just 30.50, which included a solitary half-century.
Therefore, the Pakistan team management as well as Babar himself will be eager to bounce back in the format where he is comfortable to bat at the top of the order and produce the goods for the home team. Against South Africa, Babar has very impressive numbers in the shortest format of the game where he has already scored 151 runs in just three innings at an staggering average of 50.33.
Haider Ali is being termed as one the best batting prospects in Pakistan cricket. The right-hander emerged on to the scene in the previous ICC U19 World Cup and was then drafted by the Peshawar Zalmi franchise for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) fifth edition where he was extremely impressive at the top of the order.
Since then, Haider has managed to represent Pakistan in seven T20Is where he has scored 176 runs at an average of 29.33, which included two half-centuries, one of which came in his debut match against England. Haider had a rather disappointing outing in New Zealand where he just managed to score 22 runs in three innings. Therefore, Zalmi’s right-handed batsman will be eager to return to form and produce the goods with the bat in hand in the upcoming series.
Usman Qadir is slowly but surely emerging as one of the leading candidates to become Pakistan’s premier spinner in white-ball cricket. The right-arm leggie has only played three T20Is in his career where he has managed to claim eight wickets. Usman, who is also the son of the legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir, is coming in the series on the back of impressive performances in the recently concluded Pakistan Cup where he finished as Central Punjab’s leading wicket-taker.
Therefore, Usman will be eager to produce the kind of performances he did recently in the domestic competition. The 27-year-old does have a good record while playing at Gaddafi Stadium in T20s where he managed to claim three wickets at an impressive average of just 15.66.