The fourth Momentum ODI between South Africa and Pakistan at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday is shaping up to be a crucial encounter for both teams. The Proteas have the opportunity to close off the series, while Pakistan will be out to ensure they level it ahead of the last match to be played in Benoni on Sunday.
“We want to win the series and Pakistan has to win to stay alive so it’s a nice little contest that is set up for Thursday,” Proteas spinner Robin Peterson said in Durban on Tuesday. “Pakistan tend to play well when their backs are against the wall, they play with more freedom and that is what makes them dangerous. It’s an important game; the pressure is always there when you play for your country and its going to be no different on Thursday.”
Apart from the series, a strong performance will also be a timely confidence boost for the Proteas, as they look to create some form of winning consistency after a patchy ODI record in the last couple of months.
“Thursday is also an opportunity for us to show that we have the ability to be consistent in this format,” Peterson said. “We have a lot of new faces, people are starting to gel and we are getting used to each other’s games. That is important if you want to achieve consistency, it is something we have discussed and something that we want to put right.”
The experience Faf du Plessis brings as a leader, fielder and batsman will be missed, but Peterson says the players available in the squad will be equally adept. Quinton de Kock and David Miller are the extra batsmen in the squad, and will gain key game time should either of them play, especially as the ICC Champions Trophy squad is to be finalised shortly.
“When you miss key players in an important game it’s always a big loss,” Peterson added. “It will test out our depth as a squad which is important looking ahead to the Champions Trophy in England”