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

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Suresh Raina gifts Aditya Garhwal an autographed bat

Dwayne Bravo says West Indies pull-out had everybody’s consent

Bangladesh gain upper-hand over Zimbabwe at stumps on Day 1 of 1st Test

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan considered skipping Tests

Michael Clarke: Younis Khan is one of the gentlemen of our game

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone to meet South Zone in final

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: David Warner admits that Australia is not scared of big targets

Younis Khan scores 26th ton to establish Pakistan record

Younis Khan becomes seventh Pakistani cricketer to score two hundreds in a Test

Virat Kohli and others with 20 ODI hundreds

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

NGOs pursue education for all

ISL 2014, 12th Match: Delhi Dynamos FC 4-1 Chennaiyin FC in Pics

Apple to merge Beats Music with iTunes next year as music sales fall 14 percent in 2014: WSJ

Michael Clarke: Younis Khan is one of the gentlemen of our game

Anil Kapoor ropes in a new director for son Harshvardhan’s next?

WTA Finals 2014: Sania Mirza and Cara Black shock Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik to secure final berth

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan considered skipping Tests

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Bigg Boss 8 day 34 highlights: Salman Khan makes fun of Sonali Raut’s kamchor behaviour, RJ Pritam Singh entertains!

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here