Match preview – Pakistan vs. South Africa, South Africa in Pakistan 2020/21, 2nd Take a look at
At a time when sports around the world have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan, a team that has had to play in neutral locations for the most part over the past decade, is on the verge of a third straight win At home. With wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, they now have the chance to beat a higher team than them and will appreciate their chances after a fairly complete performance in the first test.
Aside from South Africa’s mistakes – and there were several – Pakistan got almost everything right in Karachi, from Nauman Ali to taking advantage of the back swing and adding depth to the batting team. There is still some improvement to be made at the top as the opening pair only plays 5 and 22, but the lower order has made up for it with insistent appearances against an increasingly frustrated South African team whose ailments have only grown.
In the run-up to that game, South Africa was hit by news that it would not play the home tests against Australia, meaning this will be the end of their testing season, which has only featured four games. The ability to rebuild multiple games against different opponents under changing conditions is now gone and South Africa has to work with what little it has.
A win at Rawalpindi, where conditions are likely to suit them better, would show the resilience the team has lacked so far. However, defeat is not a catastrophe, just a measure of where you are as a test squad. South Africa has already shown signs that the team balance can be tackled by including all-rounders and the best combination can be found.
In terms of the World Cup, this will likely be the last series these two teams play in the current tournament. The result of this test will not change their position against Pakistan in fifth and South Africa in sixth. Mid-table placements, albeit on a cycle riddled with shifts, may not be quite where these teams want to be, but both are in transition and there are signs that they may be worth starting the next Keep an eye on lap.
(last five completed games, last first)
South Africa fiber optic
In the spotlight
Before Karachi, Babar Azam had only had one Test in his last eight games that didn’t score at least half a century, and despite the added responsibility of commanding Pakistan, he would have been disappointed with his 7th and 30th return because of like him was released. Babar fell to South Africa’s left-wing spinner Keshav Maharaj in both innings, first attempting a cut on a ball that was too full and then defending the wrong line against another spinning over him. The good news for Babar is that the series will be relocated to a place where his fortune could turn. He has played two Test innings at Rawalpindi and scored hundreds in both.
Quinton de Kock goes out to hit Getty Images on the AFP networks
Although Quinton de Kock has already expressed his longing for the great outdoors, he has yet to pass a test this summer before saying goodbye to the long-format captain if he so wishes. De Kock will no doubt want to hone his verification skills (he mistakenly asked for DRS four times in Karachi) but will be more concerned with improving his clout. As captain, de Kock has scored 44 runs in four innings and has yet to settle in his new seat in 5th place. South Africa still believe this is the best place for him to beat and he will want to prove it just before the end of test summer.
The only changes Pakistan thought about were in the bowling section, which may have an additional seaman added at the expense of one of their weirdos. They have since decided against it and will most likely stay the same.
Pakistan (probably): 1 Imran Butt, 2 Abid Ali, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Babar Azam (Capt), 5 Fawad Alam, 6 Mohammed Rizwan (week) 7 Ashraf Faheem, 8 Hasan Ali, 9 Nouman Ali, 10 Yasir Shah, 11 Shaheen Shah Afridi
Injuries will have the final say in Area XI South Africa. Tabraiz Shamsi has recovered from the back spasm that kept him off the Karachi Test, but concerns about repetition could miss him, especially since there is also a question mark over Maharaj. South Africa’s top weirdo had a pain in his side two days before the game and scans showed he was either cracked or bruised. He bowled 15 overs the day before the game but a final call regarding his availability won’t be taken until the morning of the game. If Maharaj can’t play, George Linde will play in his place and Shamsi will miss Lungi Ngidi. South Africa is also seriously considering a seam bowling all-rounder that didn’t exist in Karachi, and if Wiaan Mulder plays it won’t leave room for Linde unless Maharaj is injured. The racket line-up should remain unchanged and Dean Elgar should be ready to play after bruising his left hand in Karachi.
South Africa (possible): 1 Dean Elgar, 2 Aiden Markram, 3 Rassie van der Dussen, 4 Faf du Plessis, 5 Quinton de Kock (Capt., Week), 6 Temba Bavuma, 7 Wiaan Mulder, 8 Keshav Maharaj / George Linde, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Tabraiz Shamsi / Lungi Ngidi, 11 Anrich Nortje
Parking space and conditions
Rawalpindi has historically been a surface for Quicks. With its cooler climate that keeps moisture on the surface, fast bowlers were responsible for 498 top wickets compared to 72 for spinners. However, South Africa coach Mark Boucher said there was a significant lack of grass and described the pitch as “very dry as pieces of a puzzle” and expected spin to play a role. Temperatures will fluctuate in the early 20C and Boucher believes the humidity and dew will prevent teams from getting into full game days.
Statistics and trivia
- If Pakistan wins it will be the first time they have beaten South Africa in two consecutive friendly matches. and this is only the second series win over South Africa in eleven series of two or more games between the teams.
- South Africa only played one test in Rawalpindi in 2007. It was a high score tie.
“Experience is sometimes being out there physically and experiencing it for yourself. We talked about patience, the different mental approaches, the fact that the running rates are not 3.5 like in South Africa, and when you defend you have to defend with a lot Intensity. But when the boys saw them play, they understood that what we were talking about was happening right in front of us. “
According to coach Mark Boucher, South Africa has learned from Pakistan’s stroke approach
“The Pindi wicket is of course different from Karachi, but this time it’s not one that four specialized fast bowlers play against.”
Pakistani captain Babar Azam almost confirms that Pakistan is likely to remain unchanged
Firdose Moonda is the ESPNcricinfo correspondent in South Africa