With their backs against the wall, Pakistan are eager to roar back into the competition when they play South Africa in their sixth match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 here on Friday in Chennai.
Expressing his caution during the pre-match press conference on Thursday, South Africa’s captain, Temba Bavuma, acknowledged the formidable challenge posed by Pakistan.
“We can’t write off Pakistan. At the start of the tournament, I had them among the top four teams at the end of the group stages, so that is the amount of respect you have for Pakistan. We don’t have a great record against Pakistan in ODIs,” Bavuma said.
Highlighting Pakistan’s unpredictable nature, Bavuma described them as mercurial, capable of delivering outstanding performances on one occasion and faltering on another. He stressed the importance of South Africa matching their performance level to that of Pakistan when the latter is in good form.
“Pakistan can be mercurial, which means they can be good one day and not so good the other day. We want to make sure that when they are good, we are good as well,” he added.
Acknowledging that Pakistan has yet to showcase their best cricket in the tournament, Bavuma labeled them as a dangerous team. He asserted the need for South Africa to be prepared for the possibility that Pakistan might hit their stride in the upcoming match.
“Pakistan are a dangerous team and we know they haven’t played close to their best yet. But tomorrow could be that, so we want to make sure, we are ready for that. We want to exploit their weaknesses,” he concluded.