Table of Contents
Match: 1st Test match (1st out of 2)
Series: South Africa tour of Pakistan, WTC series
Date and timing: January 26th at 08:00 pm PKT
Venue: National Stadium, Karachi
Weather report: All the five days ahead are cleared so the weather should not interrupt.
Pitch report: The Karachi pitch isn’t much of a spin-friendly in the first three days. It will be a good batting pitch at most. So expect captains to bat first after winning the toss.
Matches: 26 / Pakistan: 4 / South Africa: 15 / Draw: 7
Last five completed matches, most recent first
Pakistan: L L D D L
South Africa: W W L L L
Pakistan are coming off from two difficult series loses. Against England where they lost 1-0 (and draw two) in the three match Test series. And against New Zealand where they lost 2-0. Twice they were in a position where they could have won and draw the match.
Now with Test cricket coming to home, with series against South Africa starting tomorrow, Pakistan may start from the bottom. If they start winning series at home, which have been missing for a long time, they may start gaining more confidence in becoming better side given how they have been lately.
Predicted Playing XI:
Pakistan are expected to play three fast bowlers and two spinners. Opener Imran Butt is expected to make his debut tomorrow after Abdullah Shafique was cut from the 17 men squad. Nauman Ali is likely to make his debut as well.
1. Abid Ali, 2. Imran Butt, 3. Azhar Ali, 4. Babar Azam (C), 5. Fawad Alam, 6. Mohammad Rizwan (WK), 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Hasan Ali, 9. Nauman Ali, 10. Yasir Shah, 11. Shaheen Afridi
South Africa are coming off from a two match series win against Sri Lanka at home. They have a excellent record against Pakistan as they have lost only four matches out of 26 they have played against each other. In fact, South Africa have lost only one match in Pakistan; the Lahore Test in 2003. Other than that, they beat host side.
Now with a young squad coming with confidence, they will be looking to get a new challenge from Pakistan, who themselves are in a bit of a bother. South Africa will be looking to keep their record in track and will be looking for yet another series win.
Predicted Playing XI:
South Africa brought 21 men to Pakistan. The combination is something they are finding out for the future. The top six will likely be their first choice players. The last five, in particular bowlers, is something we will see tomorrow.
1. Aiden Markram, 2. Dean Elgar, 3. Rassie van der Dussen, 4. Faf du Plessis, 5. Quinton de Kock (C, WK), 6. Temba Bavuma, 7. Wiaan Mulder, 8. Anrich Nortje, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Keshav Maharaj, 11. Lungi Ngidi/Tabraiz Shamsi
In spot light
Babar Azam (Pakistan, batsman)
There is no doubt the threat he poses for the opposition. Babar Azam has been leading the Pakistan’s batting order since he finally started score runs in the format he was poor at. Babar could not produce top performance in Test cricket as he did in ODIs and T20Is. However, thanks to the backing of former coach Mickey Arthur, Pakistan found a new leader in them
Now a captain of all formats, Babar’s wicket will be the key wicket for South Africa. The batsman averages 45 in the format with five centuries.
Quinton de Kock (South Africa, wicket-keeper)
Considered to be a young prodigy for South Africa team, Quinton de Kock has came a long way in making his name. The wicket-keeper opener averages just under 40 in the longest format. But with five centuries to his name and 21 fifties, the South African captain will be a crucial for both of the sides.
Now with a challenge up ahead against Pakistan side, Quinton de Kock will be looking for his first major series win.
Stats and trivia
- Pakistan have won only one Test in Pakistan against South Africa, the Lahore Test in 2003.
- Pakistan have never won a Test series against South Africa
- Speedster Kagiso Rabada is only three wickets away from his 200 Test wickets.
What they say
“We know our conditions at home very well, and we are very clear on whether to bat or bowl first. But you have to wait till tomorrow.”
- Pakistan captain Babar Azam
“We’ve got the mindset that we are not scared to go out there and try something different. We can see they are going with a spin mindset. We’re coming with a mindset that if we want to win a series away from home, we’ve got to make a few brave calls.”
- South Africa head coach Mark Boucher
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