ISLAMABAD: After losing from Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, Pakistan’s cricket team, known for its unpredictability, is all ready to take on the world’s number one test side (South Africa), which is surely predictable in dealing her opponents aggressively and with some quality cricket. Loosing from Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe abroad has demoralized the Pakistani Players and also the Cricket but the dream that is yet to come true is thrashing South Africa in Dubai (Sharjha, Neutral venue). South African Team and also the players are in tremendous form and they can cope in any type of situations. They are very strong in all aspects and can beat any team of the world, but the Pakistani Team is popular for its unpredictability.
On the other hand, confidence of the national squad is touching the depth, as it has always been, after losing from a very low test rank side (i.e. Zimbabwe test ranking#9). However, their biggest test will start on October 14. The Sharjha weather conditions and pitches are very much similar to that of Pakistan but the Pakistan team should not take it easy to deal with. The crumbling batting line up of Pakistan will surely be tested by the fast and aggressive pace attack of the visitors.
Pakistan is in very poor position because it had not take to play too much test matches as compare to South Africa and resilient South Africans seems like a roaring loin in test cricket, Pakistan should not take it be a piece of cake.
If we look at the past record, 21 test matches have so far been played between the two sides, of which, ten were won by South Africa and three by Pakistan while seen remained draw. Moreover, out of the eight test series between the two top cricket nations, South Africa bagged five, Pakistan one while two were drawn.
However, this is the time for Pakistan to bounce back to their form and give a tough time to South Africa. Some of the key players are enjoying batting including Captain Misba-ul-Haq, Younus Khan and the young, enthusiastic emerging talent of Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman and lanky fast bowler Muhammad Irfan etc.
On slow, and spin wickets of Abu Dhabi, Saeed Ajmal and Abdu Rehman together with the Junaid Khan and Muhammad Irfan could prove to be the lethal weapons for Pakistan. Being a spin bowler performance of Saeed Ajmal from the last few years is outstanding; the confidence should be rocketed high. All they need is to transform that confidence into a really good performance to make history for their side.
The seven feet one Irfan is a wonderful addition to the team having pace and extra bounce, however, it will be interesting to see how Misbah will use him in the test series.
“The team is a nice blend of senior and junior players but the exit of Muhammad Hafeez is beneficial for him and also for the squad to give a chance to the young blood,” said Moin Khan, the Pakistani cricket team manager.
The young cricket who performed well in the domestic season has a very good chance to perform well and prove themselves as the future treasure for Pakistani cricket team. Umar Amin and Shaun Maqsood seems very positive to their selection and they performed well in the domestic season, but now they required to prove themselves on international level. Batting department of the national team has always been a matter of concern especially especially against seam bowler like Dale Styne and Mone Morkel. The performance of some of the players has been praise-worthy in past series against Zimbabwe including Misbah, Younus Khan and Khurram Manzoor, however, it is the time that youngsters including Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Umar Amin and Adnan Akmal will also have to take responsibility and lead from the front.
“There should have been a batting coach with the team as we all know that Pakistan’s batting is weak and if the national side loses, it will only be because of her batting,” said former test cricketer, Zaheer Abbas.
He said South Africa was really a tough side equally good in all three departments including batting, bowling and fielding. Because, they have world No.1 & 2 batsmen i.e. Hashim Amla and AB Deviliars and world fast bowler like Dale Styne. The spin bowling department of South Africa is also not bad they have some quality spin bowler also like Imran Tahir.
The tour will demonstrate where Pakistan stands in test cricket as she will have to play beyond her abilities to defeat a team like South Africa.