Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel and JP Duminy form part of the Proteas’ best XI, writes Graeme Pollock.
It was a good turnaround for the boys who eased past Sri Lanka in their opening Champions Trophy clash on Saturday and they put in a professional performance.
The inclusion of Morkel and Duminy completes the Proteas’ best 50-over side and this should remain the same going into the clash on Wednesday.
Duminy, coming in at No 5 or No 6, is vital to the performances in the latter overs and gives the Proteas the necessary experience and protection for the all-rounders and the tail-end.
South Africa must not get complacent, however, because Pakistan are a good side and the players must focus on the game at hand before concentrating on beating India.
What’s important, is that Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers need to gain some much-needed momentum before the big one against the defending champions.
The 24-year-old wasn’t his usual self against Sri Lanka and scored at a slower rate than normal but there aren’t too many concerns because between him and Amla they went at quite a decent rate.
It’s comforting to see that De Kock trusts his teammates and did not feel the need to go crazy, but he needs to play his normal game as the tournament progresses.
SA can beat India on Sunday, but they first have to get past a lacklustre Pakistan side and should stick with the same side for their clash against Pakistan on Wednesday.
With that said, the Proteas are looking comfortable in Group B and are favourites along with India to progress to the semis.
Once there, enough time has passed for them to have shaken off the cobwebs of their disappointing semi-final exit in the 2013 Champions Trophy and go on to reach the final.
For a change, it’s the Aussies who will struggle to fight off critics and the way things are progressing in Group A as they attempt to beat the tournament favourites, England, in a do-or-die match.
SA are playing positive cricket and have enough experience to deal with the chokers complex which has followed them defiantly.