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South Africa vs Pakistan 1st Test Preview + Dream11

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey





South Africa vs Pakistan 1st Test Preview + Dream11





By Abdul Shakoor – @AbduShakoor_





The third of three Boxing Day Tests. A great day for cricket fans.





A tough series against South Africa awaits, following a series loss against New Zealand that might have disturbed the morale of Pakistan. Against a side that’s number three on the ICC ranking in the longer format, Pakistan, under the under pressure Sarfraz, may face difficulties in setting up against the South Africans. However, the warm-up match win was a big positive and confidence-booster for them, and need to replicate that form.





Mohammad Amir, after being dropped for barren spells, was being advised to play domestic cricket. Atiq uz Zaman, his domestic coach, is confident about Amir as he bagged some wickets in the domestic matches. Pakistan will need his services very much as Muhammad Abbas has carried a shoulder injury. Muhammad Abbas is in his rehab, and will miss the first Test which is a blow, but might be played in the second Test according to PCB’s press release.





Will South Africa prove to be too good for Pakistan at home, as Dale Steyn looks to capture a great record?




Key to a South Africa win





Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla will be very important in South Africa’s top order to help set a platform for the Proteas. Their ability to score big can take the game away from Pakistan’s reach if they see the new ball well, which can then provide the likes of Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock with greater freedom.





South Africa will miss Lungi Ngidi and Vernon Philander’s for this Test. Philander has been sensational with his great tight-length bowling that has accounted for many in home conditions. However, they still are in a strong position as Steyn and Rabada’s pace is a tough prospect to handle. Rabada will surely be testing out Pakistan batsman with his vicious bouncers, and Steyn with his beautiful away swingers. Rabada has got 46 wickets in Tests this year with a good average of 20, and Steyn is very close to becoming South Africa’s all-time Test leading wicket taker.





Also, Keshav Maharaj is second best in the wickets column for South Africa in 2018. Duanne Olivier has been called up in the squad who has a decent collection 17 wickets in 6 outings. South Africa still have the resources to trouble Pakistan, and its about getting it all right on the day.




Key to a Pakistan win





Pakistan is under the pump for a series loss in their rented home – UAE. With Muhammad Hafeez rightly calling his retirement the best thing after his dry innings barring the comeback century, Imam ul Haq has to step up alongside Fakhar Zaman.





However, Pakistan’s middle order is key. The likes of Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam and skipper Sarfraz will be crucial to weathering the South African pace storm. South Africa is not the kind of team one fan get easily away with giving small trails and targets, that too on their soil, so the Pakistanis need to play with as tight techniques as possible, ensuring the bat face is straight.





Also, Mohammad Amir has to deliver big and prove his worth as a big-match player. He hasn’t been in the wickets column for a long time and will be looking to get a wicket or too in his opening spell. Hasan Ali has to support his fellow and carry on his good bowling from the other end and Shaheen Shah Afridi impressed at times on his debut. Can they, along with Yasir Shah, give the Proteas batsmen a hard time?




Dream11







Stats and Facts




  • In their last five encounters Pakistan has only won one.



  • Kagiso Rabada has got the most wickets (46) in 2018 by pacers followed by Mohammed Shami (44).



  • Aiden Markram has got the most runs for South Africa this year (660).



  • Dale Steyn needs one wicket to become South Africa’s all-time leading Test wicket taker.



Prediction





Some thunderstorms are expected throughout the Test, and there is little doubt Pakistan will face their own little storms, too.





However, it won’t all be one way traffic as Pakistan have the bowling to trouble South Africa’s batting. But, given the strength of South Africa at home, back them to win this.





Thanks for reading!





Preview by Abdul Shakoor – give him a follow at @Abdushakoor_!





South Africa vs Pakistan 1st Test Preview + Dream11

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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