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Pakistan Tour of South Africa – A Tough One for the Green Shirts

Pakistan’s dismal performance in the recent test series against New Zealand has badly exposed the weak batting lineup, and the green shirts should expect a really tough time in Pakistan’s tour of South Africa.

Let’s discuss everything one by one.

 

Boxing Day Test 

Pakistan will play the first test match against South Africa on 26 December, at Centurion cricket ground which will also be a Boxing Day Test.

Sarfaraz Ahmed is to lead the side for Pakistan while South Africa will play under the captaincy of Faf du Plessis.

The two countries are playing a complete series including three Tests, five one day internationals and three Twenty20 international matches.

Odds in favor of South Africa

Pakistan has already played one test against Invitation XI and has comfortably defeated the team by six wickets. Azhar Ali and Babar Azam rescued Pakistan after a shaky start, both the batsmen stood for a long time on the crease and ensured Pakistan’s win.

Despite this initial victory, cricket Pundits believe this will be a tough series for Pakistan, mainly because of two reasons:

Firstly, whether it’s the openers, the middle order or the tail-enders, all failed to make an impact against the Kiwis in Dubai.

It is rather surprising to see such batting performance in Dubai since UAE wickets are considered to be ideal for batsmen. Despite rigorous efforts, hardly a couple of batsmen succeeded in making a strong impact.

Secondly, South African wickets are considered to be even more difficult for batsmen. In these conditions, it will be a huge task for our Pakistani batsmen to face the fast-paced South African bowlers.

The Pitch

The pitches are expected to be quick too: therefore, handling pace will be a major concern for the batsmen.

Keeping in view the performance of Pakistan in the previous test series, it may be a surprise if the batsmen are able to withstand the Proteas bowlers spearheaded by Kagiso Rabada and fit-again Dale Steyn.

Although the hosts will be without the retired Morne Morkel and Lungi Ngidi, who has a long-term injury.

Coach Mickey Arthur’s view

Arthur, who coached South Africa from 2005 until 2010, told journalists he believed his young batsmen will cope better with conditions in South Africa than the low, slow pitches of the UAE.

“There are some very talented young batsmen there. They don’t stand on leg stump anymore. Our batsmen get to the off stump, they cover the bounce, they cover the pace and they cover the swing.”

Pakistan vs South Africa Head to Head Stats

For both the teams, the strength lies in their bowling. Both Captain Sarfraz Ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur acknowledged on arrival in South Africa that posting competitive totals was crucial if they are to match the hosts in what is shaping as a battle between two teams with strong bowling attacks.

Figures show a staggering reality:

In the last two years, Pakistan has just won six out of 16 Tests and lost nine times. Pakistan drew the series in England 1-1 earlier this year, with their batting failing badly in the second Test.

The Tests are likely to be a major challenge in South Africa where Pakistan have won only two Tests while losing nine on five tours.

Pakistan vs South Africa Head to Head Stats

 

Pak Vs SA Tour Schedule

While the series is about to begin in a day, here is the schedule for the complete series:

Pak vs SA Series 2018-19 Complete Schedule

PAK v SA 2018 Test Schedule

1st Test

  • Dec 26, Wednesday – Dec 30, Sunday
  • SuperSport Park, Centurion
  • 1:00 PM PST / 1:30 PM IST / 08:00 AM GMT / 10:00 AM LOCAL

2nd Test 

  • Jan 03, Thursday – Jan 07, Monday
  • Newlands, Cape Town
  • 1:30 PM PST / 2:00 PM IST / 08:30 AM GMT / 10:30 AM LOCAL

3rd Test

  • Jan 11, Friday – Jan 15, Tuesday
  • The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
  • 1:00 PM PST / 1:30 PM IST / 08:00 AM GMT / 10:00 AM LOCAL

Pakistan vs South Africa ODI Series

1st ODI

  • Jan 19, Saturday
  • St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth
  • 4:00 PM PST / 4:30 PM IST / 11:00 AM GMT / 01:00 PM LOCAL

2nd ODI

  • Jan 22, Tuesday
  • Kingsmead, Durban
  • 4:00 PM PST / 4:30 PM IST / 11:00 AM GMT / 01:00 PM LOCAL

3rd ODI

  • Jan 25, Friday
  • SuperSport Park, Centurion
  • 4:00 PM PST / 4:30 PM IST / 11:00 AM GMT / 01:00 PM LOCAL

4th ODI

  • Jan 27, Sunday
  • The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
  • 1:00 PM PST / 1:30 PM IST / 08:00 AM GMT / 10:00 AM LOCAL

5th ODI

  • Jan 30, Wednesday
  • Newlands, Cape Town
  • 4:00 PM PST / 4:30 PM IST / 11:00 AM GMT / 01:00 PM LOCAL

Pakistan vs South Africa T20 Series

1st T20

  • Feb 01, Friday
  • Newlands, Cape Town
  • 9:00 PM PST / 9:30 PM IST / 04:00 PM GMT / 06:00 PM LOCAL

2nd T20

  • Feb 03, Sunday
  • The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
  • 5:30 PM PST / 6:00 PM IST / 12:30 PM GMT / 02:30 PM LOCAL

3rd T20

  • Feb 06, Wednesday
  • SuperSport Park, Centurion
  • 9:00 PM PST / 9:30 PM IST / 04:00 PM GMT / 06:00 PM LOCAL

 

Pakistan V South Africa Test Team

For the upcoming test series against South Africa, Mohammad Amir has once again joined the green shirts. Opening batsman Shan Masood has also returned to the Pakistani squad along with Fakhar Zaman.

Unfortunately, all-rounder, Bilal Asif failed to secure a spot.

Here is the complete Pakistani Squad which will be facing South Africa

  1. Imam ul Haq
  2. Fakhar Zaman
  3. Shan Masood
  4. Azhar Ali
  5. Haris Sohail
  6. Asad Shafiq
  7. Babar Azam
  8. Sarfaraz Ahmad (Capt., wk)
  9. Muhammad Rizwan
  10. Yasir Shah
  11. Shadab Khan
  12. Muhammad Abbas
  13. Hassan Ali
  14. 14: Muhammad Amir
  15. Faheem Ashraf
  16. Shaheen Shah Afridi

List of South African Squad which will be playing against Pakistan is as follows:

  1. Faf du Plessis (Capt.)
  2. Hashim Amla
  3. Temba Bavuma
  4. Theunis de Bruyn
  5. Quinton de Kock (wk)
  6. Dean Elgar
  7. Zubayr Hamza
  8. Keshav Maharaj
  9. Aiden Markram
  10. Duanne Olivier
  11. Vernon Philander
  12. Kagiso Rabada
  13. Dale Steyn

While the action is yet to begin, we sincerely hope the tables turn for Sarfaraz and he is able to pull through his first major test win in South Africa.

For more updates on the series, keep visiting Cricket Howzat.

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