South Africa will face off against the Pakistan in the first Test match on the 26th of January. The game could be a tough fight between two sides looking to prove a point. Neither of the teams have had a great start to the New Year and will want to change that now. It could be a close encounter between the two teams, who will want to play some good cricket.
Three more wickets to his name and Kagiso Rabada – coming back from an injury – will become the eighth bowler in South African history to touch the 200 wickets mark. However, with significant assistance expected for the spinners, De Kock will want the likes of Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj, and George Linde firing. Two them are expected to take the pitch on Tuesday. The Portea team brings some confidence fron the Sri Lanka series they won 2-0, and would want to play similar cricket to pressurize Azam’s young side. Du Plessis, De Kock and Bavuma at the top with Anrich Nortje, Rabada and Wiaan Mulder in the tail, the team looks well to go.
Predicted XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock (C & WK), Temba Bavuma, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi
As Pakistan welcomes cricket post COVID-19, Babar Azam will make a comeback captaining a pretty young side, six uncapped players in the squad. Out of the seventeen players in the home squad, as many as nine are bowlers, five pacers and four spinners. Imran Butt is likely to make a debut. The pressure on the team and their coach Misbah ul haq has been immense and knowing the former Pak skipper, he’ll want to make a big statement.
Predicted XI: Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Babar Azam (C), Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Faheem Ashraf, Nauman Ali/Sajid Khan, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali
South Africa and the Pakistan have faced each other 26 times. Pakistan have won four matches and the Porteas have won 15 matches and seven games resulting in draws.
Even after taking the sub-continental conditions into consideration and the home advantage Pakistan have, their inexperienced batting doesn’t seem to stand a chance versus the likes of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada firing. After batting starts getting tough on Day 3, 4 and 5, South Africa– who carry three spinners in their arsenal – could pose danger. Even from the batting point, Porteas’ fresh success against Sri Lanka has shown the way Faf du Plessis is going to take this game.
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Date and Time:
26th January 2021 (Tuesday)
National Stadium, Karachi
(The odds could possible change at times without a prior notice)
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