After inflicting a whitewash against the Pakistanis in the recently concluded test series, the Proteas team were on the top of the world.
The top ranked test teamin the world, the top ranked fast bowler in the world in Dale Steyn, the top ranked Batsman in the world in Hashim Amla, and the top ranked allrounder in the world in Jacques Kallis —- the accolades were plenty and the accolades were hard earned in dismissing oppositions to the frying pan in tests in the last couple of years.
In Graeme Smith, they have got a captain, who is a leader from the front with his unorthodox yet hugely effective opening batting. He is also the first player in the history of tests to captain a team in hundred tests.
South Africa had in recent times pulverised England, Australia, New-zealand and Pakistan. They had made it a habit ofbowling off opponents in less than fifty runs.
But, come the ODI series against Pakistan, the proteas are now in a face saving mode. After storming to a two nil serieslead against the Pakistanis, the South Africans are now in a position to surrender the series after a brilliant fight-back from Pakistan in the third and the fourth one day ensured that the seies will go down to the wire.
With the series in a tie and the fifth match in Benoni, deciding it all, the South Africans are having a hard timejustifying their claim that they are not perennial underperformers in the ODI circuit.
Pakistan on the other hand are looking to inflict the third ODI defeat in a rowto the Proteas and walk away with a satisfying away series win result.