Pakistan: In the series opener, Pakistan looked a bit too relaxed to the point of being almost uninterested. They played catch up for large swathes of the game but still did not panic and eventually got the job done as their hosts, playing a bunch of debutants, melted under pressure.
They did have their problems, with the most obvious one being their usually reliable bowling betraying them. That said, those who know Pakistan cricket would know that they’re primarily a bowling unit. It can betray them once but it will also always be their main strength.
Babar Azam’s side may make a change or two though. Fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain could be a decent option to bring in, while legspinner Zahid Mahmood is a like-for-like replacement for Usman Qadir, who was the worst of all Pakistan bowlers in the opening T20I. Chances of the swap happening are low though, especially since Qadir has generally done well in T20Is for Pakistan apart from this one game. Also, it could help that he is a childhood friend of captain Babar.
South Africa: The hosts lost the opening match in two brief phases: death overs while batting and also death overs while bowling. Granted that they were playing three newcomers, their other players had still done reasonably well to give South Africa the upper hand. But they came up empty in the business end of both the innings.
First, while batting, the Proteas scored just 29 runs off the final 24 deliveries despite having wickets in hand. Then, while bowling, they dropped catches that you’d expect to be taken from a team of South Africa’s athletic pedigree. On top of it, their newcomers unleashed a flurry of full tosses at the death that were deservedly dispatched by Pakistani batsmen.
To make matters worse, there were overthrows on the penultimate ball of the match that sealed the win for Pakistan with a ball to spare.
Will Heinrich Klaasen make any changes? He must. But then who does he bring in? The African roster is a who’s who of rookies and rejects.