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The second Test match PAK vs SA series have begun today at Rawalpindi. where the fast bowlers have enjoyed more success here than spinners. The fast bowlers took 498 wickets as compared to 72 wickets taken by spin bowlers.
However, in this PAK vs SA game, today was a different Rawalpindi pitch where it was drier than usual. There was seam, swing and bounce. But at the same time, there was some spin offered.
Pakistan, winning the toss and elected to bat first, found themselves quickly at 22-3. No team has won the match in Rawalpindi after opting to bat first. Here are the stats:
Won the toss & batting 1st at Rawalpindi:
— Javed Iqbal (@Javedjedi99) February 4, 2021
The only time a team won the match when they batted first was Rawalpindi’s first-ever Test match. Pakistan defeated Zimbabwe in 1993 when they asked to bat first.
PAK vs SA: Openers failed yet again
South Africa’s left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj took 2-27 in his eleven overs he bowled this second game of PAK vs SA test. He picked the wickets of newcomer Imran Butt, which he was caught behind by Quinton de Kock after getting outside edge, and veteran batsman Azhar Ali, who ended up playing for spin but was struck by straighter ball for leg before wicket.
Keshav Maharaj had also troubled Pakistan before in the first Test match, where he picked the wickets of Babar Azam, twice in two innings, Azhar Ali and Nauman Ali.
The third wicket of the Pakistan innings belong to South Africa’s right-arm fast bowler Anrich Nortje, who dismissed Abid Ali at short leg, taken brilliantly by Aiden Markram.
Pakistan has been finding the right opening combination in Test cricket. They have tried at least five different opening partners in the past few couple of years. Namely;
1. Shan Masood and Imam ul-Haq,
2. Shan Masood and Abid Ali,
3. Abid Ali and Imran Butt,
4. Azhar Ali and Shan Masood,
5. Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul-Haq
Shan Masood and Abid Ali are the last pair when Pakistan put on the opening stand of fifty or more. It was against Sri Lanka in the final Test in Karachi in 2019. Since then, Pakistan went thirteen innings, including this one, without having an opening stand of fifty or more.
Pakistan does not seem to find the right combination that can settle down and give Pakistan the opening start they would need. Also, there seems to be the lack of confidence from the team management as they keep chopping and changing the opening pairs.
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