1st ODI: Pakistan vs South Africa Live Streaming, Pak vs SA 2013
If South Africa are feeling on top of the world in the Test arena, there is much concern over their one day international form ahead of the Champions Trophy to be played in England and Wales in June. The Proteas enter into a five-match home series against Pakistan in Bloemfontein on Sunday searching for a winning formula in the shorter format of the game. Click here for Live Scorecard
Bar a one-off fixture in the Netherlands in late May, this will be the final preparation for the side ahead of the Champions Trophy. "This is an important period for the ODI team; I think what is important for us is that we know that we can create some momentum in this team," coach Gary Kirsten told reporters this week.
South Africa lost a three-match home ODI series against New Zealand 2-1 last month, their third home series defeat in their last six encounters against visiting teams. They did rest key players through the three matches, but worryingly, those who were elevated in their place failed to shine.
It is form that has seen them drop to fourth in the ICC ODI Championship behind India, England and Australia. But Kirsten believes his team have shown enough, even in defeat, to suggest that they can climb that table again.
"We know that with the players that we have got we are able to win games in difficult situations and that is what it ultimately boils down to." No other Test-playing nation has played in fewer matches than South Africa's 21 in the 50 over format over the last three years.
The likes of India, Australia and Sri Lanka have played almost double that amount. It is in this format of the game where the 'chocker' tag hangs heaviest around their necks, and despite Kirsten's assertion, closing out matches has been their biggest failing.