Pakistan, South Africa to face in historic Test series
Pakistan and South Africa will clash in a historic two-match Test series, starting from January 26 at the National Stadium in Karachi.
This will be the first five-day contest between the teams in more than 13 years as the last time Proteas visited the country was back in 2007 when the current head coach Mark Boucher was a part of the playing XI.
Both teams are coming in this series on the back of contrasting performances in their previous assignments.
The home team will be under immense pressure and low-on confidence as well as they prepare to face South Africa after suffering a 2-0 whitewash against New Zealand.
With the return of regular captain Babar Azam—who missed the series against the Black Caps due to a thumb fracture—and influx of a number of top domestic performances, the team management will be hoping to see the Men in Green produce a much better performance against a formidable unit while playing in home conditions.
On the other hand. South Africa will be coming in the match extremely high on confidence after securing a 2-0 series sweep against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded Test series.
The team management will be hoping to see the players continue their good performances in the upcoming series as well.
Pakistan have named a 20-member provisional squad for the two-Test series which will be reduced to 16 members before the start of the series opener.
The squad is full of youngsters and in particular, is filled with players who had a great time in the recently concluded Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2020-21 both with bat and the ball in hand.
In the batting department, the home team will be heavily relying on the likes of captain Babar, former captain Azhar Ali and star wicket keeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan to produce bulk of the runs in the presence of a number of inexperienced players.
On the bowling front, the team will be relying on the likes of pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi, in-form Hasan Ali and leg-spinner Yasir Shah to produce timely breakthroughs.
South Africa have arrived in Karachi with a full-strength squad, similar to the one who troubled Sri Lanka in the recently concluded two-match Test series.
Therefore, by the look of it, the team have all the required tools to get the better of the home team.
In the batting department, the Proteas will be relying heavily on the likes of captain Quinton de Kock, veteran middle-order batsman Faf du Plessis, opening batsman Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma to score bulk of the runs.
On the bowling front, the onus will be on the pace trio of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Dwaine Pretorius to provide timely breakthroughs and put Pakistan’s batting under pressure.
Both teams are coming in the series with a completely different form which is why it is hard to predict the outcome.
However, looking at the venues being selected for the matches, it is expected that the pitches are unlikely to favour spinners.
Keeping that in mind and looking at the inexperience pace-bowling attack of Pakistan, the prediction is for South Africa to win the with the score of 1-0.