Home > News >

Preview: South Africa look to maintain unbeaten streak against unpredictable Pakistan in 1st Test

image_20131013091021

South Africa havn’t lost a single Test series away from home since losing to Sri Lanka in 2006 © AFP

Abu Dhabi: Oct 13, 2013

World number one South Africa will hold most of the aces against an erratic and unpredictable Pakistan when the teams open a two-Test series from Monday.

Graeme Smith‘s Proteas have dominated the five-day format and are unbeaten in a Test series [away from home] since losing to Sri Lanka in 2006.

Their record against sub-continent teams is particularly impressive as they have lost only four out of their last 20 Tests against such opposition, doing so just once in an away series.

South Africa have beaten Pakistan in 11 of their 21 Tests, losing only three and drawing the remaining seven.

Pakistan’s only series win came way back in 2003, on home ground.

Smith’s men routed Pakistan 3-0 when the two teams met in South Africa earlier this year, exposing their rivals’ fragile batting through pacemen Dale Steyn (20 wickets) and Vernon Philander (15).

Even the dusty and dry pitches of the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan have been forced to play their home matches since the 2009 terror attack on a Sri Lankan team bus, hold no fears for the South Africans.

They drew a two-Test series in the UAE in 2010, with Jacques Kallis hitting successive hundreds, AB de Villiers notching South Africa’s then-highest score of 278 not out, and Smith and Hashim Amla also scoring centuries.

They blunted Saeed Ajmal so well that Pakistan were forced to leave out the ace spinner after he got only three wickets in the first Test in Dubai.

Smith, who returns to international cricket following an ankle injury in March, believes his side are ready for all possibilities.

“We expect the wickets to spin, we expect the worst in that regard, and know that how we handle Ajmal could be the key,” said Smith.

Pakistan have also named left-arm spinners Abdur Rehman and Zulfiqar Babar, who may make his Test debut at 34, if they play three spinners.

Pakistan have only won one of their last eight Tests since Dav Whatmore took over as coach last year, and slipped to sixth in the Test rankings after an embarrassing defeat against Zimbabwe last month.

But Misbah-ul Haq’s men can take solace from their 3-0 rout of then world number one England in the UAE last year.

If Pakistan wants to repeat that triumph their sloppy batting needs a huge improvement and senior players like Misbah and Younis Khan must continue taking the responsibility.

Pakistan were shot out for their lowest Test score of 49 at Johannesburg in February this year and failed to dominate a novice Zimbabwe attack.

Pakistan captain Misbah said his players must forget the past.

“It’s not good to be in the past,” said Misbah on Saturday. “It’s good that all our batsmen had good practice matches before the Test and that will give us more confidence.”

Pakistan’s pre-series build-up was also chaotic, as they delayed announcing their squad and then named only 12 players, picking the remaining three from the tour match against South Africa which ended on Thursday.

Their top-order could be easy prey for the South African pacemen — out of three openers, only Khurram Manzoor has played Tests (nine), while Ahmed Shehzad and Shan Masood have yet to play the longer version of the game.

Teams:

South Africa (probable): Graeme Smith (c), Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Rory Kliedveldt.

Pakistan (probable): Khurram Manzoor, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Umar Amin, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal (wk), Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan.

Time: 11.30 local | 06.00 GMT

Pakistan vs South Africa – Live on Ten Cricket

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Live Cricket Score, Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 3rd ODI at Dhaka: Zimbabwe flatter in chase as they lose six wickets

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 1: Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq bring up the 100-run stand for fourth-wicket;

Don Bradman vs Clarrie Grimmett — how did The Don fare against the craftiest leggie of his era

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Top 5 performances of the tournament

Phillip Hughes injury: Spare a thought for Sean Abbott

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan South Africa South Africa vs Australia Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq complete 100-run stand for fourth wicket

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 3rd ODI Dhaka 2014: Bangladesh half way there as Zimbabwe lose 5th wicket

Sri Lanka vs England 1st ODI at Colombo: Tillkaratane Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardena stable Sri Lankan innings

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Hosts breach the 200-run mark

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 3rd ODI Dhaka 2014: Zimbabwe falter with fall of third wicket

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss: Hot Pakistani model Veena Malik and husband arrested on blasphemy charges

மணப்பெண் அழகு சரிபார்ப்பு பட்டியல் – உங்கள் திருமணத்திற்கு ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு முன் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்

Bigg Boss 8: Is Gautam Gulati out of the house?

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Scoop: Is Sid Mallya really gay? Watch video to find out!

Microsoft Lumia 535: First non-Nokia low budget Windows smartphone set to be launched today

रितेश-जेनेलिया देशमुख के घर पुत्ररत्न का हुआ जन्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here