Sharjah: South African captain AB de Villiers vowed to attack Pakistan for a winning start at the opening one-day match in Sharjah on Wednesday despite his team being down two key playmakers.
South Africa are missing both star batsman Hashim Amla and spearhead Dale Steyn for the first two matches of the five match one-day series. But De Villiers insists his team are brimming with confidence, especially after they managed to square the test series 1-1, winning the second showdown in Dubai by an innings and 92 runs.
"We didn't have much time for preparation so its really up for us mentally to get prepared but it's important to have a good start, get used to the conditions and adapt as quickly as possible and attack them in areas where they are not strong," said De Villiers on Tuesday.
"Dale needed some rest but hopefully he will join us in good stead," said De Villiers of the paceman who returned home for rest but will be available from the third match in Abu Dhabi on November 6.
Amla returned home after the first test match to be with his wife following the birth of their second child. The 30-year old is ranked world number one in Test rankings.
The second one-day match will be played in Dubai (November 1) while the third and fourth matches are in Abu Dhabi (November 6 and 8) while the final takes place in Sharjah (November 11).
The two teams will also play two Twenty20 internationals in Dubai on November 13 and 15.
South Africa will be joined by one-day specialists Quinton de Kock, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
De Villiers said he hoped to find the right combination for an early lead in the series.
"We are tactically working on getting the right side which could give us the best opportunity to get a 1-0 lead. I am looking forward to see the guys performing well in the greens," said De Villiers whose team lost their last one-day series in Sri Lanka 4-1 in July this year.
They were routed by Sri Lankan spinners Ajantha Mendis (ten wickets) and Rangana Herath (six wickets). But despite their dismal showing against Sri Lanka, De Villiers insisted his team will be able to tackle Pakistan's spinners, especially Mohammad Hafeez.
"He is a world class player, no doubt about that and he surprised everyone with the ball over the last few years and was the top bowler in the one-days, we have seen a lot of them and we are looking forward to the challenges here," said De Villiers.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt) Ahmad Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Ameen, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rahman, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Sohaib Maqsood, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmad
South Africa: AB de Villiers (capt), Colin Ingram, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Graeme Smith, Lonwabo Tsotsobe