Yasir Shah
Yasir Shah (AFP Photo)

Pakistan are all set for their first Test on South African soil in eight years. The last time they were here for a Test series, the hosts, under the captaincy of Graeme Smith inflicted a 3-0 whitewash. However, this time around, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed says a strong pace attack and a world-class legspinner in prime form gives them an advantage.

Centurion is the venue for the first Test that starts from December 26 and the changing nature of the surface over the years has lit up the eyes of the visiting team whose lead spinner, Yasir Shah, who has taken 29 wickets in his last three Tests.

“… all Asian teams come to South Africa and struggle here. The conditions are different but we do have a world-class spinner. He has 200 wickets in 33 Tests and we know South Africa haven’t played a top-quality legspinner in three years. So we have an advantage, we have Yasir Shah, and hopefully they will struggle against him,” Sarfraz was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz on Tuesday.

Centurion traditionally becomes a difficult surface for batters in the fourth innings. So, the Pakistan team would love to win the toss and hope to put South Africa on the mat.

“We have clarity about what we’ll do because we have a coach who has coached in South Africa. If you talk about the history of Centurion pitches the fourth innings is very difficult here. Whoever wins the toss would like to bat first. No one would want to bat in the fourth innings if they’re chasing over 200,” he said.