Pakistan have stuck with their tried and tested T20 attack, bolstering it only with the all-round skills of Mohammad Nawaz
South Africa won the toss and chose to bowl v Pakistan
Pakistan’s new opening pair of captain Babar Azam and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan would get first opportunity to have a say in the three-match T20 series after South Africa opted to field first in Lahore. Stand-in captain Heinrich Klaasen has a six-man attack at his disposal, including two frontline spinners and two allrounders.
Tabraiz Shamsi has fully recovered from the back problem that kept him out of the Test series and will partner left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin, who was selected ahead of George Linde. Lutho Sipamla and Junior Dala are the two specialist quicks with Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius occupying the allrounder roles. South Africa have one debutant, No.3 batsman, Jacques Snyman, who plays his domestic cricket at the Knights franchise.
Pakistan also opted for an extra allrounder in addition to Faheem Ashraf and included Mohammad Nawaz at the expense of Asif Ali. The hosts are fielding four players from the recently completed Test series against South Africa, while South Africa have a completely new-look XI. Pretorius, Sipamla and Shamsi were all part of the Test squad but did not play, while the rest of that group have returned home.
Pakistan: 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3 Haider Ali, 4 Hussain Talat, 5 Iftikhar Ahmed, 6 Khushdil Shah, 7 Mohammad Nawaz, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Usman Qadir, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Haris Rauf
South Africa:: 1 Janneman Malan, 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 Jacques Snyman, 4 Heinrich Klaasen (capt &wk), 5 David Miller, 6 Dwaine Pretorius, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Bjorn Fortuin, 9 Junior Dala, 10 Lutho Sipamla 11 Tabraiz Shamsi
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent