Pakistan team is highly motivated to perform against South Africa as the three-Test series is all set begin from today at Centurion.
Pakistan’s rising star Mohammad Abbas and spin sensation Shadab Khan will miss the opening Test due to the injury. In their absence, Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi will take the charge to flame-up the pitch.
According to sources, Haris Sohail is also an injury doubt for Pakistan and may be replaced by Shan Masood.
On the other hand, South Africa’s spearhead Dale Steyn will be leading the bowling attack in the absence of Vernon Philander and Lungi Nigidi as both players have been ruled out due to injury.
The bowling strength of both teams is formidable, but the batting side of the visitors is uncertain.
Pakistan started off their South Africa tour with a win in the warm-up match, moreover, their batsmen showed form with Azhar Ali and Babar Azam scoring centuries in the first inning, while Imam Ul Haq and Haris Sohail scoring fifties in the second inning to get their team home.
It is pertinent to mention here that the green shirts trouble in away series are well-documented. Pakistan’s batting showed frailty when they twice collapsed in the fourth innings in losing a Test series against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates recently.
Pakistan have never won a Test series in South Africa.
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper), Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Duanne Olivier, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Dane Paterson
Umpires: Bruce Oxenford (AUS), Sundaram Ravi (IND)
TV umpire: Joel Wilson (WIN)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)