About the Match
After a long hiatus from the test format of the game, South Africa return to the fore against Pakistan in the first test of the series starting on October 14th. Pakistan had a fairly good tournament against Zimbabwe recently but couldn't seal the test series; after an emphatic win in the 1st test, the team lost the second test in a close match. The last time South Africa played a test match, it was on home soil and they had won the test series against Pakistan, defeating them in all the 3 matches. Pakistan will try its best to avenge that defeat and will come out with all guns blazing. South Africa will not be behind and will be eager to start the series on a winning note. It will be an interesting contest as both teams have a lot of expectations riding on them.
Graeme Smith had been out of action for the better part of the year, making a steady recovery from injuries. Similarly, Jacques Kallis is also making a comeback after his last stint at the IPL this year. A lot of the responsibility lies on these two experienced players and Alviro Petersen, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir who have performed well recently are in pretty good form. AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla have the required expertise and skills to face the tough spin bowling of Pakistan; Duminy and Plessis have it in them to help anchor the innings in the middle and will definitely look to contribute with their skills. The bowling unit must tighten its spell and Morkel, Steyn and Robin with considerable support from Tahir will try their best to turn the game around for the team. They need to stay focused and go into this game with a positive attitude and try to boost their morale with a win here.
The conditions are favorable for the team and with spin being their strength; the team has excellent bowlers like Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman who will lead the attack. The young Junaid Khan who did exceptionally well against the Zimbabweans will need to excel as a lot is being expected out of him in this test series. The batsmen can be dangerous if they keep a cool head and avoid playing irresponsible shots. Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan with their experience and proven skills will have to guide the younger players in giving a tough battle to the opponents, who are currently placed at the number one spot in the test format of the game. Though the bowling unit is a formidable one, the batsmen have the task cut out for them to build the and up their game with some sensible cricket. The team must play positive cricket and support each other to bring out the best in them.
South Africa’s strengths are in the batting and fielding departments and will strategize well to overcome the weak bowling attack that has lesser variety compared to the Pakistani contingent. On the other hand, Pakistan boasts of its spin bowling and will try to destroy the plans of South African batsmen. Will the Pakistan batting line-up keep a firm stronghold and successfully post defendable totals; this remains to be seen. I think South Africa to be favorites largely due to poor batting form of Pakistan in the recent past.
South Africa, 2.15 @ Bet365
Pakistan’s batting performance has been subpar in recent past and other than Misbah and Younus, they do not have services of an experienced middle order player. On the contrary, South African batting lineup is full of players in good form with Amla and de Villiers amongst the top players in rankings. I think the following bet might be very profitable indeed.
Team Of Top Batsman:
South Africa, 1.44 @ William Hill