The South African Cricket Team is touring Pakistan after 14 long years for two Test match series and three Twenty20 International series. The series is promised to be an exciting one with two quality Test sides going against each other.
Both Pakistan and South Africa have produced so many quality cricketers. From South African greats such as Greame Pollock, Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, AB de Villiers, Jacque Kallis, Greame Smith, Makhanya Ntini to Pakistan greats such as Imran Khan, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam ul-Haq etc.
Now we will look at top six batsmen that will catch our eyes. We will pick three each from Pakistan and three each from South Africa.
1. Babar Azam
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.
2. Quinton de Kock
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.
3. Azhar Ali
During the Misbah and Younis era, many of Azhar’s performances were overshadowed. His skill and consistency were praised by many experts and was expected to take over the role of the senior. However, he has not quite reach that moment for what he was expected to do.
The senior-most player in the side, Azhar will have bigger responsibilities in keeping the Proteas bowlers in check. The top-order batsman averages almost 43 with 17 Test centuries and three doubles.
4. Faf du Plessis
South Africa’s senior-most player in the side, Faf du Plessis is still South Africa’s best batsman. In the recent series against Sri Lanka, he scored his personal best of 199. He averages about 41, but that does not means he is no less than a wall for his side. South Africa will need his experience against a talented Pakistan bowling attack.
5. Mohammad Rizwan
The wicket-keeper batsmen has been in a great form of late. Since the England series in 2020, he scored five consecutive Test fifties against both England and New Zealand in their respective homes. To bat like this against the quality bowlers, Rizwan earned praises not just from locals, but from world wide experts for his gritty and lovely batting.
He is yet to score a century, with top-score of 95 against Australia, Rizwan averages just under 40 and his batting will be vital in the middle for Pakistan.
6. Dean Elgar
The top-order batsman is one of the most experience player for his side. He averages just a touch below 40 but has a good conversion ration of 0.87 in turning his 50 into 100. So if he reach his fifty, then bowlers beware as the batsman becomes a difficult to dismiss.
With the retirement of Hashim Alma, Dean Elgar has taken a massive responsibilities at the top for South Africa alongside Quinton de Kock. If Dean Elgar can give the stability for South Africa in this series, his contribution can help his side to put on big totals.
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