What: South Africa vs. Pakistan, 1st T20
Where: Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
When: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 16:00 GMT
Weather: Thunderstorms are common in Johannesburg this time of the year, but they tend to be isolated. Although temperatures will be fine, according to Accuweather, a thunderstorm is forecast in the evening. These storms tend to pass quickly, and with the drainage at the Wanderers being quite good, there shouldn't be too much of a problem if it's just a quick storm.
Having just beaten Pakistan 2-0 in the United Arab Emirates, South Africa have another chance to build toward a balanced side ahead of the World T20 in Bangladesh next year.
Faf du Plessis admitted to the TV crews during the T20 series in the UAE that South Africa want to make it to No. 1 or No. 2 in the rankings before the competition. With just five games left before the showpiece, there isn't much time to chop and change.
For Pakistan, the equation is more complicated. Yes, they will want to build toward the competition, but they first need to find the players they can actually build with. Their recent performances against South Africa were completely subpar, and they are without strike bowler Mohammad Irfan, who suffered an injury in the second game.
Facing Dale Steyn and Co. on their home turf perhaps isn't the best way to go about it. The early-season pitches will have plenty of zip in them, so it's ideal hunting ground for the fast bowlers all while the batsmen—the departments which have often let their sides down—get to really knuckling down and work on the things which have been troubling them.
Quinton de Kock is a very bright star, and he is finally starting to show that he has what it takes to make it at international level. He's put in the extra work in terms of fitness and technique, and it paid off for him when he scored an unbeaten 48 and a crafty 30 in the two T20s in the UAE.
The Wanderers is de Kock's home ground, so he'll be familiar with the conditions and has a real chance to further enhance his reputation.
Shahid Afridi embodies the Pakistan team. On a good day, he is really good, and on a bad day, he is really bad. It's all hit and miss for "Boom Boom," but some of his best bowling did come in Johannesburg, though, when he took three for 18 against Sri Lanka in the World T20 in 2007. Pakistan will be hoping he can chip in with the bat, not the easiest thing to do in these conditions.
Faf du Plessis (capt.), Hashim Amla Henry Davids , Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, David Wiese, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez (capt.), Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Tanveer, Anwar Ali, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Bilawal Bhatti.