New-look Pakistan will look to end a 17-year wait for a series win versus South Africa and leapfrog the Proteas in the rankings in the second Test beginning on Thursday.
Success would be poignant for Pakistan, who are hosting their biggest Test series because the deadly 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka’s team halted global trips.
Pakistan, whose only series win over South Africa frequented 2003, begin as favourites in Rawalpindi after last week’s thumping seven-wicket win in Karachi.
They stand to increase two locations to 5th in the rankings with a series success, while defeat would press South Africa down from fifth to sixth.
Fawad Alam (C) scored a century for Pakistan in Karachi AFP/ Asif HASSAN
Debutant Nauman Ali and fellow spinner Yasir Shah were the heroes in Karachi with seven wickets each, along with Fawad Alam whose first-innings century set up the win.
Babar Azam, who captained Pakistan for the very first time, said the win was much required after they decreased heavily in both Tests away to New Zealand in December and January.
” This win was very needed for our group,” stated Azam. “The last series in New Zealand didn’t go effectively.
” Yes, these are house conditions however South Africa is a leading Test side and beating them was morale-boosting.”
South Africa are on an eight-match losing streak in the subcontinent AFP/ Aamir QURESHI
He included: “We have been telling the gamers to be positive. I do not desire them to take pressure, learn from errors and do your finest.”
However, Rawalpindi will provide a various difficulty for both groups as quick bowlers tend to dominate.
When Pakistan beat Bangladesh there by an innings and 44 runs, 12 months ago, 20 of the 30 wickets went to quick bowlers.
With that in mind, Pakistan are expected to drop Nauman, regardless of his wickets in Karachi, and provide a Test launching to paceman Haris Rauf.
The series is being played under heavy security AFP/ Farooq NAEEM
South Africa have long struggled in the subcontinent, with Karachi their 8th defeat in a row in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
They lost their last eight wickets for 112 and 60 in the two innings in Karachi, falling for 220 and 245 all out.
” I understand that our record in the subcontinent is not the best,” stated captain Quinton de Kock.
” We have won a number of series and I have part of some today we wish to find a way to change that.”
Experienced opener Dean Elgar is expected to be fit to play after being struck on the hand in Karachi.
The travelers are most likely to drop spinner George Linde to bring in one of their fast-bowling all-rounders, Wiaan Mulder or Dwaine Pretorius.
Pakistan (from): Babar Azam (capt), Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Yasir Shah, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan
South Africa (from): Quinton de Kock (capt), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Daryn Dupavillon, Marco Jansen