The battle in Birmingham in the seventh match of ICC Champions Trophy is a battle of contrasting characters in Pakistan vs South Africa. While South Africa are coming after a thoroughly professional performance against Sri Lanka in their campaign opener, Pakistan come into this match on the back of an embarrassing 124-run drubbing at the hands of the arch rivals, India. It will be quite an uphill task for the Pakistanis to get better of an in-form Proteas line-up.
Considering their struggles against Jadeja, Pakistani batsmen now face an even bigger threat of Imran Tahir. Tahir, who played a key role in the win against Sri Lanka with his four-for, will be raring to take full use of Pakistan’s batting woes. While batting remains a cause of concern, the injury to Wahab Riaz has aggravated the tensions in the Pak camp. The ruling out of Wahab most probably will pave the way for Junaid Khan’s inclusion. On the other hand, South Africa will not want to tinker with the winning combination which ticked all the boxes against Sri Lanka.
Here’s a look at the Key Players for the game-
Key Batsman- Hashim Amla FYS Fantasy Points- 132
Amla carried his IPL form into the Champions Trophy and registered his 25th ODI hundred in the campaign opener against the Lankans. A few days back, he also became the fastest to reach the 7000-run mark in ODIs.
He is providing good solid starts along with Quinton de Kock at the top. Pakistan will have to conjure something special to keep a check on him.
Key Bowler- Mohammed Amir FYS Fantasy Points- 19
The prodigal swing bowler and the spear-head of the Pakistani bowling attack has his task cut out for the game. He must take extra responsibility in absence of Wahab Riaz and lead by example for other bowlers to follow him. He had a brief stint with Azhar Mahmood during the West Indies tour which is certainly going to help him in the tournament and the Proteas Batsmen will make a huge mistake if they underestimate his potential.
Key All-rounder- Chris Morris FYS Fantasy Points- 75
The stocks of Chris Morris have sky-rocketed since his heroics in the recently concluded Indian Premier League. He even put up a decent performance against Sri Lanka by contributing 20 runs with the bat along with 2 wickets with the bowl. His hitting prowess makes him a very dangerous batsman down the order and his pace has the ability to knock out the best batsmen in the world.
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