Match Preview: Pakistan vs South Africa 1st Test at Centurion, December 26, 2018

On December 26, 2018, Pakistan will kick off their first test against South Africa at Centurion. The absence of key test bowler Muhammad Abbas in Pakistan’s lineup will be a notable factor. However, the inclusion of Pakistani opener Fakhar Zaman adds a touch of excitement to the team.

Pakistan’s Probable Team Composition:

Openers: Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq

Middle Order: Azhar Ali, Horis Sohail, Babar Azam, and Asad Shafiq

Pace Attack: Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, and Shaheen Shah Afridi

Spin Bowler: Yasir Shah

Wicket Keeper: Sarfraz Ahmed

South Africa’s Squad:

Openers: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar

Middle Order: Theunis de Bruyn, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis

*Temba Bavuma or Zubair Hamza

Wicket Keeper: Quinton de Kock

Pace Attack: Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, and Duanne Olivier

Spin Bowler: Keshav Maharaj

Pakistan vs South Africa Head-to-Head Stats:

  • Total 10 series played.
  • South Africa won 6 series.
  • Pakistan won 1 series.
  • 3 series ended in draws.
  • In South Africa, 5 series were played. South Africa won 4, and 1 ended in a draw.
  • In Pakistan, 3 series were played. South Africa won 2, and Pakistan won 1.
  • Two series played in the UAE ended in draws.

Overview of Test Matches Between Pakistan and South Africa:

  • A total of 46 tests have been played between Pakistan and South Africa.
  • South Africa has won 24 matches, Pakistan has won 8, and 14 were drawn.
  • In South Africa, 23 matches were played. South Africa won 12, Pakistan won 4, and 7 ended in draws.
  • In Pakistan and the UAE, 23 matches were played. South Africa won 12, Pakistan won 4, and 7 were draws.
  • In Pakistan, 19 matches were played. South Africa won 11, Pakistan won 3, and 5 matches were drawn.
  • In the UAE, a total of 4 test matches were played. Pakistan won 1, South Africa won 1, and 2 matches ended in draws.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Pakistan Squad Strength:

  • Pakistan boasts an experienced batting lineup with all middle-order players having reasonable test experience.
  • The opening pair includes two talented young players in Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul Haq.
  • Pakistan has one of the best leg spinners in test history, Yasir Shah, who recently completed 200 wickets in just 33 test matches, breaking a world record that had stood for 82 years.
  • Historically, South Africa has struggled against leg spin, and Pakistan’s Yasir Shah could pose a significant threat.
  • Pakistan also features a solid pace attack with Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, and Shaheen Afridi performing well on fast tracks.

Pakistan Squad Weakness:

  • Pakistani batting has not had an impressive record against South African bowling, particularly against Dale Steyn, who has taken 47 wickets in 10 test matches against Pakistan. Kagiso Rabada, the current No. 1 bowler in ICC rankings, is another formidable threat.
  • The absence of Pakistan’s top test fast bowler, Muhammad Abbas, who is unfit for the test, is a significant disadvantage.

South Africa Squad Strength:

  • South Africa enjoys the advantage of playing on their home ground, which has historically been a stronghold for them.
  • The team has one of the most formidable pace attacks in test cricket, with Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn capable of demolishing any top batting order.
  • South Africa’s batting lineup is strong, extending up to the No. 7 position. Quinton de Kock adds significant firepower.
  • Young batsman Hamza is considered a promising talent and has been termed the “Hashim Amla of the future.”

South Africa Squad Weakness:

  • The experienced South African batsman Hashim Amla has been struggling for form. Dale Steyn, a key bowler, has also played only a few tests in the past two years.
  • South Africa is without their dangerous batsman, AB de Villiers.
  • Young bowler Lungi Ngidi is unfit, despite being the leading wicket-taker in ODIs in 2018 with 26 wickets.
  • South Africa lacks a world-class spinner for test matches.

Players to Watch:

  • Promising young batsman Hamza and pace bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi will be in the spotlight during the match.
  • Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman, who scored 160 runs in two innings on his debut test, will be a center of attraction for the crowd.

The match is scheduled to start at 1:00 PM Pakistan Standard Time.

Key Match Details:

  • Pakistan vs South Africa
  • 1st Test
  • Centurion
  • December 25, 2018

This encounter promises a thrilling contest between Pakistan and South Africa in the world of test cricket. Cricket fans worldwide are eagerly awaiting the outcome of this match.

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