Pakistan Vs South Africa 2021 Series Review—a historical series. South Africa’s first visit to the nation after more than a decade.
The return of Aiden Markram and Hasan Ali, the absence of Mohammad Hafeez, lots of Mohammad Rizwan, and curtains to Faf Du Plessis’ Test career. We look at the highs & lows, broken dreams, emerging players, and World T20I Watch.
*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.
Results – Pakistan Vs South Africa
Test Series: Pakistan Win 2 – 0
* Player of Match
|Player of Series||Pakistan|
166 runs, 100s – 1, best of 116*, 83.00 average, 1 catch
|Most Runs||Faheem Ashraf – 171 runs|
(50s – 2, best of 78*, 85.5 average)
|Aiden Markram – 227 runs|
(100s – 1, 50s – 1, best of 108, 56.75 average)
|Most Wickets||Hasan Ali – 12 wickets|
(best of 5/54 & 10/114 match)
|Keshav Maharaj – 10 wickets|
(best of 3/90 & 6/208 match)
T20I Series: Pakistan Win 2 – 1
- Pakistan won by 3 runs – Mohammad Rizwan*
- South Africa won by 6 wickets – Dwaine Pretorius*
- Pakistan won by 4 wickets – Mohammad Nawaz*
|Player of Series||Pakistan|
|Most Runs||Mohammad Rizwan – 197 runs|
(1 – 100, 1 – 50, best of 104*, average 98.5, 145.92 SR)
|David Miller – 116 runs|
(1 – 50, best of 85*, average 116, 156.75 SR)
|Most Wickets||Usman Qadir – 4 wickets|
(best of 2/21, 6.90 economy)
|Tabraiz Shamsi – 6 wickets|
(best of 4/25, 5.08 economy)
- The energizer is back with Pakistan. Hasan Ali’s domestic resurgence has translated directly into international performances. 5/54 & 5/60 match winning 10-fer. Skiddy action, the passion, and the celebration.
- In the last 5 first class matches, Fawad Alam has scores of 139 (vs NZ A), 102, 109, 45. Consistency and the 109 at home. Destined.
- It is the season of Faheem Ashraf-Mohammad Rizwan partnership. After a streak of match-saving consecutive overseas 50s for Rizwan, he finally converted to a ton with 115* in Rawalpandi. Similarly, following his 91 in New Zealand, Ashraf followed up with 64 and 78* in Pakistan.
- Rizwan strikes again. Followed up his Test century with a 104*, 51, and 42 in the T20Is. Brilliant. Just brilliant. And if you thought that was consistent enough, now has scores of 71 and 41 for Karachi Kings in the PSL.
- Usman Qadir – Like father like son. Wonderful spell in the first T20I. Brilliant in his own right, he is here to stay in international cricket.
- Let us talk about the ones missing in action (at least offline), shall we? Mohammad Hafeez and Sarfaraz Ahmed. The best Pakistan T20I batsman over the past year, Mohammad Hafeez opted out of the international series due to T10 league & clashes with the quarantine dates for the South Africa series. Yet, he was active on Twitter and had a few exchanges with former captain and current substitute, Sarfaraz. Hopefully, it is just a one-time thing and Pakistan cricket can move on.
Also Read: Umar Gul – The Magician With the Yorker
- It seems that Aiden Markram debuted ages ago. After his brilliant start to Test cricket in 2017, it seemed that Markram was in an eternal downward spiral. Still only 26, this overseas tour of Pakistan may well be a watershed rejuvenation moment for Markram. Long career ahead.
- When one door opens, another closes. While Markram excelled, Quinton de Kock had a horrific series with the bat. 4 innings – 46 runs. Now, he is also released as the Test captain and has taken a mental health break from South Africa’s domestic tournament.
- Speaking of closed doors, Faf Du Plessis. The sun has finally set on a career marked with tenacity, grit, leadership, and hope. A Test career that started a bit late due to the great South African generation, a debut stonewalling to remember at Adelaide, a few blockathons here and there, a lot of Australia and India, captaincy records, and an iconic 199 to cap it off. Hats off Faf. Be sure to read our tribute to Faf below.
- KILLER MILLER IS BACK!!!! Look at some of the hits here. 85* (45) with 7 sixes albeit in a losing cause. Almost half a decade since this type of innings. Good signs for the Proteas looking forward to the T20I World Cup.
- Moving to the bowling side, Dwaine Pretorius slowly inking his name in the T20I XI. A 5 wicket haul including a brilliant yorker. Scalps of Babar Azam and in-form Mohammad Rizwan. Not bad.
- Tabraiz Shamsi has been the unsung mainstay of South African bowling recently. The fast bowling unit bar Rabada (and now, Nortje) seems to be a revolving door, but the absence of Imran Tahir has not been felt due to Shamsi. Highest wicket taker in the T20I series with a miserly economy.
We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:
|Emerging Player||Hasan Ali 2.0, Fawad Alam 3.0, and Rizwan-Ashraf partnership||Left Arm Spinners|
|Surprise Package||Usman Qadir||Return of Aiden Markram|
|Broken Cricket Dream||Mohammad Hafeez-Sarfaraz Ahmed Twitter Exchanges||Test retirement of Faf Du Plessis|
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Where Do They Go From Here?
These two teams will be back in action in April with Pakistan returning the favor with 3 ODIs and 4 T20Is, completing a postponed series from last year.
South Africa are still in a transition zone. The longer they stay here, the worse it gets. It is good to see the younger generation of players stand up, but hope it all meshes by the time the World T20 Cup hits later this year.
Pakistan are one to watch for the T20 World Cup. The PSL is being held at the right time, enough time for young stars to appear and get some international games under their belt.
World T20 Watch
Leading up to the World Cup, we are picking a 15 player squad after each series.
For reference, here was our earlier WT20 watch for Pakistan’s squad in our Pak Vs NZ series review. Some new faces have come into play, while some players have dropped off the list.
- Babar Azam (C), 2. Mohammad Rizwan (WK), 3. Haider Ali, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Shadab Khan, 6.. Imad Wasim, 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Hasan Ali, 9. Haris Rauf, 10. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11. Usman Qadir
Squad: 12. Naseem Shah, 13. Mohammad Nawaz/Zafar Gohar/Zahid Mahmood, 14. Sarfaraz Ahmed (WK)/Sharjeel Khan, 15. Iftikhar Ahmed/Shoaib Malik
Other Reserves in Contention: Imam-Ul-Haq/Fakhar Zaman (opener), Mohammad Hasnain/Mohammad Musa/Aamer Yamin (fast bowler), Khusdil Shah/Hussain Talat/Asif Ali (lower order finisher)
Wildcard: Sohail Tanvir
Probably curtains for Wahab Riaz & possible Mohammad Amir comeback.
- Quinton de Kock* (WK), 2. Janneman Malan, 3. Faf du Plessis, 4. Rassie Van der Dussen, 5. Heinrich Klassen (C), 6. David Miller, 7. George Linde, 8. Chris Morris, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Anrich Nortje, 11. Tabraiz Shamsi
Squad: 12. Andile Phelukwayo, 13. JJ Smuts, 14. Dwaine Pretorius, 15. Lungi Ngidi
Other Reserves In Contention: Lutho Sipamla/Bjorn Fortuin/Junior Dala, Pete van Biljon, Temba Bavuma/ Reeza Hendricks/Aiden Markram
Wildcard: AB De Villiers (WK), Marco Jansen?
Copyright (2021: 2/26/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – email@example.com