Both sides have packed their playing XIs with four fast bowlers each
Pakistan chose to bowl vs South Africa
Temba Bavuma lost his first toss as South Africa’s white-ball captain as Pakistan chose to field in the first ODI in Centurion and make use of early moisture. Babar Azam went with four quicks at his disposal – Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Faheem Ashraf and Mohammed Hasnain – to unleash on a new South Africa opening combination.
Aiden Markram, who will be playing his first ODI since the 2019 World Cup, is set to partner Quinton de Kock at the top of the order, leaving no room for Janneman Malan who had a good debut series against Australia last year. Bavuma will slot in at No.3 with experience in the middle order in the form of Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller. Like Pakistan, South Africa also have four seamers, including the three who will depart for the IPL after the second match – Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje.
The pace pack will look to challenge a Pakistan line-up where the strike rate of the top four has been a talking point and with debutant Danish Aziz at No.5. Aziz was given his first cap after a good domestic season in January, where he averaged a shade under 75.
Pakistan are searching for new combinations after playing only five ODIs since the 2019 World Cup. They come up against a South Africa side who have not had any ODI cricket in a year since their ODI series against Australia last March and have started to put plans for the 2023 World Cup in place.
South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk) 2 Aiden Markram 3 Temba Bavuma (capt), 4 Rassie van der Dussen, 5 David Miller, 6 Heinrich Klaasen, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Anrich Nortje, 10 Lungi Ngidi, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi
Pakistan: 1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Danish Aziz, 6 Asif Ali, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Mohammad Hasnain, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Haris Rauf
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent